Government gets nasty to give the illusion of control over immigration

Figures released today showed net migration rising to 318,000, its highest level since 2005 and a far cry from David Cameron’s promise to cut net migration to the tens of thousands. With free movement of labour guaranteed between countries in the EU, this was never a sensible promise to make. The truth is, as long as free movement remains in place, no government can have any real control over net migration whatsoever. For as long as the UK economy out-performs it’s European neighbours, net migration will be destined to remain high. This has always been the elephant in the room.

To try and mask this rather large elephant, the Government of David Cameron has talked up all sorts of measures to ‘tackle’ immigration which will do nothing of the sort. Today, they decided to sink to a new low in an attempt to appear to be doing something – anything. They’ve previously tried to blame the rules around social security benefits on high immigration, but there is no evidence that what has been labelled ‘benefit tourism’ actually exists. Cameron’s latest foray into ‘being seen to do something’ territory is to go after the right wing presses’ favourite bogey man – the illegal immigrant.

Cameron today announced plans to legislate to allow police to confiscate the earnings of anyone found to be working illegally. It is estimated there may be up to 300,000 in the UK who have overstayed their visas, but how many of those are working is not known. 300,000 is less than half the number of migrants that came here just in 2014. In short, it is not a big problem, and certainly not something that is going to make a dent in the net migration figures (if that is indeed its intention).

Over-blowing this issue and pretending it has anything to do with high net migration is a rather nasty thing to do, because, like the so-called ‘racist vans‘, it can create a climate of fear and suspicion in communities already feeling alienated from British society. This is purely about political expediency, not addressing a problem that actually needs to be solved.

Cameron also announced his intention today to see if he could also limit the numbers of high-skilled migrants coming from outside the EU. He can’t do anything about unskilled EU migrants coming here, so this is all he has left, but it’s exceptionally dumb. So dumb and nasty all on one day. Must be a Conservative Government.


5 thoughts on “Government gets nasty to give the illusion of control over immigration

  1. Totally astonishing. But when you have analysis from the right that can only talk in terms of ‘contributions to the Exchequer’ and analysis from the left that shout ‘wasist’ to anybody who might unlimited immigration is unlikely to be positive for all, then you can get nowhere in terms of rational policy.

    Burnham’s position is just as bad. Banning working tax credits for immigrants is a fast track to a ‘Navvi’ class living in appalling conditions because they can’t afford to live or to leave.

    The way you deal with illegal immigrants is to force into administration any firm found employing an illegal immigrant and set the fine at the sale proceeds (thereby forcing a total loss on the owners) and by jailing the directors for several years. You have to attack it at the employment and engagement end.

  2. Illegally working migrants’ having their wages taken whilst unable to get benefit, will cause more crime.

    If they were going to be Tory, then why not just deport the illegal worker back to their home nations?

    Because once the Tories pass a law that says they can grab an entire working wage off someone, that law will pass to ALL CITIZENS as well. It’s called a precedent in law.

    Taking the employer to court who is DOING the illegal employment and taking HIS OR HER INCOME off them by shutting the business down, would be the greater deterrent.

    Again it is the victim who commits the crime.

    And stemming the tide of highly skilled migrants from outside the EU, would wipe out the NHS in a day.

    But that is what the Tories want, isn’t it.

    A highly skilled migrant will pay the 25 per cent of tax that comes from income tax and the 75 per cent by consuming goods of stealth indirect taxes and VAT.

    Meanwhile the biggest tax avoidance continues of the SALARY SACRIFICE SCHEME that drags a worker’s low waged below the LOWER EARNING THRESHOLD so the boss pays no National Insurance on their job nor PAYE tax on their employment.

    The Swans – STOP WORKERS AND NON-workers STARVING alike

  3. You say that Cameron’s announcement doesn’t address the “problem that actually needs to be solved”. So, in your view, what exactly is the “problem that actually needs to be solved”?

    I have my own answers to that but I’d be interested in yours.

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