Monday, May 14, 2007

Immigration is good, brings huge benefits - but we need more tax money to pay for it

Self-contradicting - that's how I would describe the comments about immigration from local councillors in this article in today's Telegraph.

The Government is underestimating the number of migrants entering the country, leaving a shortfall in funding for public services, councils have warned.

Four council leaders have written to the Treasury to complain about a new system for producing the statistics.

The implication of that opening statement is that the immigrants who have arrived in these towns are costing money which the councils do not have.

Public services such as health and education could be hit as a result as their areas absorb far more immigrants than budgets allow, their letter suggests.

All seems pretty clear so far. All these immigrants coming in - one of the councils involved is Slough, my home town - are putting cost pressures on the public services, but .....

"The migrants that come to Slough are hard-working and bring great benefit to the local economy but the council remains severely under-funded because of these poor statistics," said Richard Stokes, leader of Slough Borough Council.

What? If these migrants (how do we know they are migrants and not immigrants?) are hard working and bringing great benefit to the local economy then the obvious benefit of that would be more funding raised from local taxation for the council. But these councils are telling us that the migrants/immigrants are costing more than they bring in. Which is it?

The reality is that the assertion that migrants/immigrants are of benefit to society is a myth. It has long been known that immigration causes long term pressure on public services as the immigrants have families, require medical attention, education, pensions and so on - but now we are seeing that large scale immigration has a significant effect in the short term too.

A lot of these migrants in Slough are just that - migrants. They have come here (mostly from Poland) to work, earn - by their standards - good money while living as cheaply as possible, send as much money as they can back to Poland where they will one day - in the not too distant future - return. They will do what they can to keep as much of the money they make as they can - while at the same time taking advantage of every possible benefit they can obtain from Britain - including health care and education.

The fact that these councils are stating such contradictory messages shows how far the propaganda has permeated and that even when faced with the obvious they continue to chant the liberal immigration mantra as required -

"immigration is good, brings huge benefits, immigration is good, brings huge benefits, immigration is good, brings huge benefits - oh, by the way, they're costing us a lot of money, so can we have some more - immigration is good, brings huge benefits, immigration is good, brings huge benefits ...."

5 comments:

xoggoth said...

It's a mathematical absurdity. Average or below average economic performance (low paid jobs) cannot raise an average standard of living. Subtract the wealth they send home and contribution is even lower than for Brits on similar wages. Most will not even pay for their own pensions let alone anyones else's.

Greg said...

"What? If these migrants (how do we know they are migrants and not immigrants?) are hard working and bringing great benefit to the local economy then the obvious benefit of that would be more funding raised from local taxation for the council. But these councils are telling us that the migrants/immigrants are costing more than they bring in. Which is it?"

I believe the only local taxation is council tax, which is taken on houses. As most migrants won't own property, especially not the high taxed mega-priced stuff, this won't go up much.

However more income tax and VAT etc will go to central government.

Stan said...

Coucil tax is payable by anyone over the age of 18 who is living in a property - including those renting or squatting. Presumably those migrants who are benefitting he econoomy so much must be living somewhere and that means they should be paying council tax, shouldn't they?

It's not the only local taxation, either - there are business rates too.

The income tax and VAT you say goes to central government, but as the government are clearlu underestimating the number of immigrants coming in, that means they are clearly overestimating the benefit obtained per migrant.

i.e. - if there are 9 times more immigrants arriving than estimated then the amount of benefit per migrant needs to be divided by nine again.

The important point is, though, that local people are the ones bearing the costs through council tax as you quite clearly recognise. Council tax continues to rise well beyond the rate of inflation and much of that must be because councils have the extra burden of migrant communities.

Greg said...

Coucil tax is payable by anyone over the age of 18 who is living in a property - including those renting or squatting. Presumably those migrants who are benefitting he econoomy so much must be living somewhere and that means they should be paying council tax, shouldn't they?
I thought council tax was only for property owners, my mistake. I'd still expect the migrants to live in the cheap property with more per property though...

The income tax and VAT you say goes to central government, but as the government are clearlu underestimating the number of immigrants coming in, that means they are clearly overestimating the benefit obtained per migrant.

i.e. - if there are 9 times more immigrants arriving than estimated then the amount of benefit per migrant needs to be divided by nine again.

Good point...

The important point is, though, that local people are the ones bearing the costs through council tax as you quite clearly recognise. Council tax continues to rise well beyond the rate of inflation and much of that must be because councils have the extra burden of migrant communities.

How much would be down to the migrants would be interesting. Councils aren't the most thrifty of organisations I understand, there'll be wasting enough money to exceed or match migrants' entitlements.

Love your website by the way.

Stan said...

Thanks, Greg - and thanks for the comments. Living in Slough I get a first hand viewpoint on immigration and, although there clearly are benefits for some,the reality for the majority is immense pressure on their local services and infrastructure - and that causes ill feeling among the community. Those sorts of things can't be measured in pounds, but have an economic effect none the less.