This Writer agrees with the economist Jonathan Portes on this issue – migrants more than pay for themselves and any failure to allocate resources is the fault of the Conservative Government.
The Torygraph‘s emphasis on the effect of immigration on public services like schools is a symptom of the failure of previous lines of attack.
Remember when we were told the UK has an “open-door” immigration policy?
There is no open door. The UK has a lower immigrant population than almost any ‘developed’ nation, these immigrants are mostly assessed via a points-based system, only seven per cent are asylum seekers, and only 33 per cent of asylum claims are accepted.
Remember when we were told the immigrant population has access to all the benefits available to UK citizens?
The immigrant population does not have access to a vast majority of the benefits available to UK citizens, the benefits they do receive are nowhere near the same value as those received by UK citizens and they are a third less likely to claim benefits than UK citizens.
So now they’re clogging up our schools.
Know what? Here in Mid Wales we have a surplus of school places and Powys County Council now has a policy of closing schools, leaving many villages without their vital community hub.
If other places have too few places for the number of people wanting to attend, then there is clearly a resource-allocation problem and Mr Portes is doubly right.
It would also make the Torygraph doubly wrong.
The argument that many in the Remain campaign make for continued British membership of the European Union is rooted in the claim that mass immigration is good for Britain.
They do not mention the other effects of mass migration, such as the impact on public services.
The free movement of people from elsewhere in the EU has contributed to significant growth in the number of children that our schools must accommodate and teach.
Parents unable to send their children to their preferred schools or whose offspring are taught in overcrowded classrooms could be forgiven for wondering whether the alleged economic benefits of a liberal migration policy are being reflected in the resources available to the state education system.
This problem is particularly acute in areas where migrant workers have congregated in large numbers: local councils in such places are still not properly compensated by central government for the resultant effect on public services.
Last year’s Conservative manifesto rightly promised a new “Controlling Migration Fund” to ease pressure on services. That promise should be implemented as quickly as possible.
It remains true that those who ask questions about immigration and its effects run the risk of sneers or worse from the BBC and other “liberal” institutions.
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