There are increasing calls from big business and the immigration lobby for ever more loosening of the visa system despite the already comprehensive weakening of the system with the introduction of the points-based system. Indeed, the Chancellor made a virtue of it in his budget speech on Wednesday. Alleged labour shortages, supply-chain delays and the need to reboot the economy in the wake of Covid are being given as reasons for further weakening of immigration control and a wider open border. The open-borders industry never tire of bombarding us with the message that migrant workers and immigration generally are the solution to all our economic and social woes. They are not. British workers are neither lazy nor feckless and characterising them as such by those addicted to cheaper labour is grotesque.
We have been arguing for some time for a simple solution to recruitment difficulties, which avoids a reliance on mass immigration as an economic quick-fix: pay more and train more. Even the government’s advisory committee on immigration said in 2018: ‘Individual employers would almost always be able to recruit resident workers if they paid wages sufficiently above the going rate.’ (see p.10 of the report). Those who remain keen on reversing the 2016 vote to leave the EU continue to call for a re-opening of our borders to free movement-type inflows. However we should be investing in our own workers with better pay, more training and improved work conditions. Recovery begins at home.
Blog of the week
It is perhaps not surprising that concerns about health and healthcare top the concerns of UK voters (according to polling by YouGov). And, with GP practices across the country facing crisis after crisis due to mounting demand (mainly from a growing population) the only contributory factor the government and the NHS appear reluctant to consider is uncontrolled immigration and how this impacts on the health sector. A few years ago, the government estimated that around £388 million per year was being drained from the NHS every year as a result of European and non-European ‘health tourists’ accessing free health services and treatment for which they were not entitled and then failing to pay or not being charged. Indeed, one consultant surgeon (Prof J Meirion Thomas) described this failure to identify and charge foreign users of our health services as a ‘gaping wound’ in the NHS. Meanwhile, the government avoids tackling this problem full-on. For more read the blog.
Migration Watch in the news
Our Chairman Alp Mehmet has once again been quoted in the press this week. See below:
Telegraph: Number of EU citizens claiming benefits doubled during pandemic
‘It will strike those who pay into the system as absolutely ridiculous that people are able to claim for welfare, or benefit from furlough, from abroad. This is the kind of thing that people voted to take back control to end.’
And some more reactions to top stories this week:
GB News: Channel crossings: We want to stop people drowning, says Priti Patel
‘A welcome aim, Home Secretary. The best way to achieve it is to enforce existing laws and deter people from making these horrendous journeys in the first place.’
Guardian: Can’t find workers? Why not pay more instead of exploiting children and migrants
‘We really are through the looking glass when the Guardian comes up with what Migration Watch UK has been calling for for years. Let’s get our priorities right; pay more and train more UK workers.’
Make your voice heard
The well-funded forces dedicated to mass immigration continue to chip away at our border control. The ‘border control’ we were promised is nowhere to be seen as key restrictions for work have been removed. The cap on yearly work permits has vanished, and skills and education thresholds for visas have been shamelessly lowered, while employers are no longer obliged to prioritise UK workers. This is not what we voted for. Border control without a tangible reduction in immigration is pointless. Please consider writing to your MP to tell them this.