More on the economic impact of migration, 8 April 08

  • The Herald reported the Prime Minister defending the points-based system as beneficial to the economy, ensuring no unskilled workers from outwith the EU would work in Britain, and pointing out how a cap of potential immigrants would have only limited impact as it would just apply to those outside Europe.
  • Ian Bell in his Herald column posed the question Just what happens if the migrants all go home? The committee appears to have decided that the free flow of labour is, all of a sudden, a bad idea. The committee, meanwhile, does not appear to imagine that a government could simply declare wage exploitation illegal… In fact, the “negative impact” the peers fail to address lies in an actually serious thought. Forget their presence: what economic effects might there be if “they” all decided to quit?
  • This point was taken up, with a Scottish/Edinburgh focus in The Scotsman: An immigration crackdown is last thing on Earth we need. Edinburgh Chamber of Commerce and CBI Scotland business leaders stating that the biggest fear in Edinburgh remains that we won’t be able to attract enough overseas work, and suggesting that European migrant workers are creating jobs that will still be available when they return home to the growing economies of their home countries.
  • The Observer led with A healthy economy is impossible with closed borders, noting that the House of Lords select committee sought quite explicitly to filter out from discussion any consideration of cultural and social issues. They addressed only a utilitarian question: how much richer do newcomers make those who were here before them?
  • Inside, The Observer carried a feature: How migrants fuel Britain’s boom town. David Rose has spent the past two months investigating the effect of immigration on one town, Slough in Berkshire. While last week’s report found that immigration has no economic benefit, he has come to a very different conclusion. The local economy is booming, property prices are rising, schools and hospitals are working well.
  • The Telegraph questioned whether the report gives a true picture of what the new migrants contribute to the economy, concluding that the economic picture is far more complex than some headlines suggested.
  • The Guardian compared the viewpoints the Government and the House of Lords committee posing the The £6bn question: is UK economy dependent on imported labour or does a migrant cap fit? and also printed a handy Immigration to the UK: facts and figures article.
  • Britain’s largest trade union, Unite, put out a press release. Jack Dromey, deputy general secretary said “Our members’ experience is clear – rogue employers are exploiting newly-arrived migrants…We strongly support, therefore, the call for the robust enforcement of the laws protecting all workers, including the minimum wage.”
  • Both The Telegraph and the Guardian carried features giving voice to migrants living in the UK. The Telegraph had Migrants in their own words, with new migrants speaking about their experiences of their adopted homeland.
  • The Guardian had Tales of belonging interviewing those who have made the journey to this country in previous decades. From the survivor of the Warsaw uprising to the Tory councillor from Australia, the Windrush war veteran to the Somalian refugee
%d bloggers like this: