UK inflation hit a 30-year high of 6.2% in February, house prices are at an 18-year high and energy bills are skyrocketing.
The cost of living crisis is punishing hard-working British people.
Meanwhile the government is raising taxes (despite the back-breaking inflation), wasting your hard-earned tax money and allowing immigration – both legal and illegal – to run truly out of control.
What follows is a summary of the different ways in which uncontrolled immigration and porous borders help to make the cost of living crisis worse.
1. Negative impact for those on low wages
Uncontrolled borders, and the uncapped routes that the government has recently opened e.g. for overseas students to take an unlimited number of low-wage jobs, harm those who can least afford to be hurt by having a negative impact on the wages of the poorest people in Britain.
- The Harvard economist George Borjas has shown how workers in the US with competing skills lost out from immigration and that the entry of immigrants reduced the wages of comparable native workers.
- The economist Tomasso Frattini – analysing trends in Britain – found that, in low-wage sectors, immigration had ‘a negative effect on average over the years 1997-2012′.
- The Bank of England pointed to the same effect in 2015. The largest effect was observed in the semi/unskilled services sector including hotels and social care.
- Immigration over the period 2009-2016 ‘resulted in native wages for those in skilled trades occupations [such as electricians; plumbers; bricklayers] being 2.1% lower’ (Resolution Foundation report).|
- The official expert Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has shown that immigration has a negative effect on the wages of the lowest-paid in the UK. It said there was ‘some evidence that immigration had reduced earnings-growth for the lower paid‘ (See report, p. 108).
2. Displacement of workers, making it harder to find a job
If a bread-winner who is capable of and willing to work is nonetheless unable to find a job that supports his or her family, then this can only put additional pressure on already-stretched household budgets.
Unfortunately, immigration has been shown to displace British workers from British jobs.
- A study by the MAC found that 160,000 British workers had been displaced by immigration between 1995 and 2010 and that there was a greater risk of this happening during a downturn. Displacement is when workers lose their jobs to those from overseas who will often work for lower wages.
- The MAC also stated that it found more recently that it had found ‘evidence that immigration reduces employment (and raises unemployment) of some groups e.g. the young and less well-educated’. (See report, p. 108).
3. Making it harder to find and afford a home
Uncontrolled immigration can make it harder for UK people to find and afford a home, particularly young people who are struggling to get their feet on the property ladder.
- Because immigration increases the demand for social housing, this can ‘reduce access to social housing for the UK-born‘ (see 2018 report by Migration Advisory Committee, p. 3).
- Additionally, the report confirmed the inflating effect of immigration on house prices. It noted: “Our analysis suggests that migration has increased house prices.” (see report, p. 95).
- This was noted elsewhere when an official government publication by the Ministry of Housing pointed out that immigration had increased house prices by about a fifth between 1991 and 2016, all other things being equal: ‘…the increase in the non-UK born population in England is expected to have led to a 21% increase in house prices, all else being equal’.
- Our analysis further points to evidence that mass immigration has pushed up rental costs.
If the government wants to help the public in the midst of this cost of living crisis, they could start by honour their own pledges, restore control of the border and reduce immigration levels by a lot.
A continuing failure to deal with the problem of large-scale immigration makes claims that they are on the side of the hard-working people of this country seem hollow and unconvincing.