Monday, 25 March 2013

If you play with fire, prepared to get burned

There is a saying that if you play with fire then you will get burned.

Today we saw our Prime Minister making a speech on immigration, this speech made in a populist manner, rather more important for shoring up his dwindling electoral base rather than concrete remedies.

So after blaming the poor for their prediciment, we now move on to the next ignorant attack on migrants.

The prime minister has consistantly stuck to his something for nothing theme, the same as the accusation of the poor scroungers. Yet the figures suggest that of the 2 million net migrants to the UK from the eight eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004, just 13,000 people have claimed jobseeker's allowance (JSA)

The real impact of Eastern European migrants is their affect on the labour market, how businesses have used these migrants to lower wages and conditions as the migrants are happy to work for less and do not assert to their rights. This has caused local people to lower wages and loss of benefits.

The Prime Minister wants to leave social europe because of the working time directive, of 47hours, the Prime Minister seems to want people to work longer with less rights, something the migrants have done.

The Prime Minister points to 40% increase in the number of social lettings taken up by migrants between 2007-08 and 2011-12. This appeared to gloss over the fact that it was an increase from 6.5% to 9% in the proportion of such lettings.

Mark Prisk, the housing minister, said in a parliamentary written answer in December: "Most foreign nationals who have recently come to England are not eligible for an allocation of social housing.

The population do see more migrants in areas of social housing, this could be the sale of council housing to private landlords, who are happy to take the migrants wages.

There is no doubt that local people should have favourtism in social housing, this based on an assessment of need, but the real problem with social housing is the lack of building of new homes, in 1979 for every Council property sold one was replaced but this year every one built five are lost to the sector. House building only achieved 100,000 units last year when it is said 250,000 are required. This is not the fault of the migrants but failure of government.

The Prime Minister says migrants cost the NHS £33million, This represents 0.06% of the £104bn NHS budget, again the Prime Minister does not say compared to the £20 billion of savings required in this parliament he has told the NHS to produce or the cost of the top down reorganisation, migrants are the least of the NHS problems.

The real effect of this speech will be to further increase the intolerance and the hostile reception that immigrants are facing from some sections of society.

The Prime Minister would well remember, playing to the gallery is a dangerous thing to do, blaming minorities for the countries woes is wrong and may unleash a very unpleasant response.

Let us concentrate on opportunity for all, yes quitely close loop holes and unfair practices, but don't start a fire you cannot control.

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