CAN CAMERON CRACK DOWN ON IMMIGRATION – Yesterday I wrote an article on the announcement by the Government that it was to crack down on ‘benefits’ handed out to immigrants.
Over the last week we’ve had every head of our political parties come out and say that they got it wrong on immigration and now measures have to be taken to put things right.
The underlying issue here is that while we can see sense in Cameron’s speech, in the video above, is it too little too late?
There is no question that David Cameron, if he gets the backing from Nick Clegg and the coalition, that he is on a direct collision course with Brussels; who will use the European Human Rights legislation and that of the Right of Free Movement to scupper any plans to restrict immigrant and the social benefits that are open to them.
David Cameron is perfectly correct, the UK has become a ‘soft touch’ allowing almost anyone in and providing them with all the social benefits without having to pay a penny into the system. The burden on the taxpayer runs into the billions each and every year and unless the UK can put an end to the ‘open benefits’ culture then the current situation can only go from bad to worse; and this will become evident when in 2014 the Right of Free Movement is enforced by Brussels.
David Cameron has stated that he is prepared to fight anyone on this issue, including any legal action taken by Brussels. It appears as if the days are growing darker and that our EU membership is being tested to the limit.
“The measures would do nothing to stem the flow of migrants from the EU. This is all smoke and mirrors. The only way to stop mass immigration from EU states and prevent abuse of the British welfare system is to leave the EU.” UK Independence Party leader Nigel Farage
Is Nigel Farage right? Is pulling out of the EU our only course of action? With the amount of EU legislation tying the UK up in immigration policies it is likely that pulling out would be the sensible thing to do; it is not unreasonable to think that if we did pull out we could re-enter on a strictly trade related basis only, as some politicians are suggesting.
From the speech above, David Cameron also correctly indicated that parts of immigrant are of benefit to the UK
“From next year, arrivals from the EU will be stripped of jobseekers’ benefits after six months unless they can prove they have been actively looking for a job and stand a ‘genuine chance’ of finding one.” David Cameron
Again, this is something that most people feel is a reasonable approach to those coming to the UK to live. However, there is already a ‘means test’ available which appears not to be used and allows immigrants to come here, claim job seekers allowance, and live off the taxpayer for an indefinite period of time. Why can’t the UK Government simply enforce the ‘means test’ to prevent this in the first place?
There are those who feel the government are over-stepping the mark and that issues such as healthcare and housing should never be restricted from those who need it.
“Public fears around immigration are like fears around crime. They bear little relationship to the actual reality.” The Bishop of Dudley, David Walker
The comment from the Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, appears to be another of those who is completely out of touch with reality. Considering his comments it is unlikely that he has bothered to look at the recent crime statistic. It was only recently that we reported on the top most wanted criminals in the UK and not one British National featured on the list – they were mostly Romanian and Polish.
Others dispute the amount that foreign immigrants take from the system in relation to those putting in. It has been suggested by Jonathan Portes, the director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, that foreign immigrants were ‘significantly less likely’ to claim benefits than people born in the UK. Furthermore, he went on to say that studies clearly show that people coming from other EU countries actually put more into the economy than they take out.
So, we are right back to where we started with the question; ‘is this too little too late?’ There are those, like myself, who feel that the doors have not only been opened by taken off their hinges and those responsible for monitoring the influx have been out to lunch since the Borders Act 2007 was introduced by Tony Blair and his Labour Government.
One of my favourite journalists (and oh how I wish I could pen an article like he does) is Richard Littlejohn, one of the Daily Mail’s regular contributors. Today he wrote an article “Keep em Out Dave? They’re already here!”
Richard takes a look poignant look at how desperate things have come with plenty of satire thrown in. Richard is a remarkable writer and while you will no doubt find his article extremely amusing it is critical to point out the old adage that ‘the stark truth is often rapped in humour.’