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What would be the effects of a radical reduction in immigration to the UK? Part II

This is the second part of a two part article by Robert Hnderson. Part I can be found here.

Would there be an unmanageable labour shortage?

The  idea that Britain is short of  labour  for  most  purposes  is   absurd.   The official figure for those of working  age (16-64) who are economically inactive in the UK is just under 9 million, or nearly a quarter of the age group. Clearly not all of those would be able or willing to work, but equally clearly a large proportion would be able and willing to work if the conditions were right, for example, wages rose, employers became more accommodating and the benefits system was tightened as the number  of opportunities for work rose.

The claim that the indigenous population will not do the jobs immigrants take is demonstrably false for in areas of the country with few immigrants  native Britons do them willingly. In addition, vast swathes of work have been effectively denied to the native population by collusion between employers and those who supply labour. This happens both within the indigenous ethnic minorities who only employ from their own ethnic group and within immigrant labour which commonly works through gangmasters who are immigrants themselves. This does not just occur in areas such as fruit picking and factory assembly work but in areas such as the NHS where we have the absurdity of doctors and nurses trained in Britain having to go abroad to find jobs because immigrants are employed here.

It is also important to understand that the menial jobs immigrants take are worth far more to them than a native Briton because wages are so much higher in the UK than they are in the country from which the immigrant hails. Take the example of an immigrant whose earnings are taxed properly and who earns the minimum UK wage. Even if they earn the UK minimum wage of £7.20 ph for those over 24 years of age that is an annual wage for a 40 hour week of £14,976. The minimum wage in, for example, Poland is worth around £400 pm (£5,000 pa), despite the fact that Poland is one of the larger and better developed economies of the Eastern European countries which supply so many of the immigrants to the UK. Immigrants coming from less developed countries will find the differential between wages here and their country of origin much larger, for example.

Many immigrants live in accommodation either supplied and subsidised   by an employer or in crowded accommodation which works out at a very small rent per head. Substantial numbers work in the black market and pay no income tax or national insurance. Quite a few draw in work benefits such as Child Benefit even if their children are not in this country.  In these circumstances migrants from the poorer member states should be able  to save a few thousand pounds a year from their wages. If the money is remitted back to the immigrant’s home country or the immigrant returns home, a few thousand sterling will be worth in purchasing power in the home country multiples of what it is worth in the UK.

As for skilled workers, most jobs are as they have always been unskilled or low skilled. For those occupations which are skilled but non-essential , the work can be done by people working abroad, for example, most IT work falls into that category. The skilled occupations with indispensable skills which could not be sourced from our own people if training was provided, are for example, doctors and nurses. There are presently far more applicants for medical training places than are currently filled.

Do Britons want an end to mass immigration?

Concern about immigration has been at the top of issues concerning the British for years; this despite the fact that every mainstream British political party has with the willing collusion of the British media, doing   everything they can to suppress unfettered public debate about the issue.

In 2014 the think-tank ‘British Future’ published their report How to talk about immigration, based on research conducted by ICM, Ipsos MORI and YouGov. One finding is truly startling. Faced with the question “The government should insist that all immigrants should return to the countries they came from, whether they’re here legally or illegally”, the result was: Agree 25%, disagree 52% and neither 23%. (P17 of the report). In addition, many of those who said no to forced repatriation were also firm supporters of strong border controls and restrictive immigration policies.

The fact that 25% of the population have overcome their fear of falling foul of the Political Correctness Police and say that they do not merely want immigration stopped but sent into reverse is stunning. Moreover, because Political Correctness has taken such an intimidating place in British society it is reasonable to assume that a substantial number of those who said they disagreed did so simply out of fear of being accused of racism.

The obverse of the immigration coin was shown by the question: “In an increasingly borderless world, we should welcome anyone who wants to come to Britain and not deter them with border controls” (P16 of the report). The results were 14% agree, 67% disagree and 19% don’t know.

Anyone who believes that the British people welcomed the post-war immigration and want more of it is self-deluding to the point of imbecility.

 

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About Robert Henderson (103 Articles)
Robert is a retired civil servant with a history and politics degree. He lives in London and runs the England Calling Blog amongst others

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