Let us Have Another View on this Immigration Problem!

I listen to the news on immigration and “how terrible” it is for the UK. I cannot help thinking that the government uses sound bites as a divide-and-rule strategy. I have often heard that governments need an enemy to blame for everything, pointing out that their party is the only one able to protect us from such terrible things.

I also note that, like others in the past, there is the use of untruths like 'Illegal immigrants', as Lord Dubs said recently.

Since when has it become illegal to claim asylum?  The conservative member he was in discussion with kept repeating the mantra, “But they are illegal,” and repeating the lie makes me accurate. Maybe, as George Orwell said, that is how it works. It makes the lie truth and the truth a lie. I work in the sector, and constantly, in terms of housing, I have had trouble with insurance brokers and housing authorities. “We cannot insure you”, they say, “because you are housing illegal people”. “No, I am not. I am accommodating people with government papers, ID cards and the like to be here”. That doesn't work as they “know -whatever” they are illegal. The Prime minister keeps saying so. So, that must make it true?

I have been trying to work out the figures that the government keeps throwing at us in order to consider the actual situation. This is hard to work out, even from the government departments, because they often don't know the true picture.

But here is another way to look. Away from the noise of them being illegal.  “They are illegal!” “They are illegal!” 25% of these “illegal” people are students studying in the UK, and probably paying into UKPLC around 1400 pounds a month, i.e. £16,000 per year.   Then there is the NHS, which we are constantly being told has a shortage of workers. However, 25% of the workers they have are also part of the big “illegal” problem!

On top of the problems of the NHS, there is the Care Sector. Oh dear! The government has recruited more “illegals” for that sector, and apparently, according to the latest figures, that represents 58% of this “terrible” immigration problem we need protection from.

And that leaves those small boats. So; what percentage of the big “illegal” problem does that represent? According to the best figures I can find, that amounts to slightly less than 3%. So, let's try some additions:

·        Students bringing in £16,800 a year = 25%

·        NHS workers, I guess working and paying tax = 12%

·        Coming to work in Care Sector, again paying tax = 58%

·        Small Boats (not illegal to claim asylum no matter how you get here. Let's be generous = 3%,

That gives us a grand total of 98%

Then I know that others come other ways. I have met them. Maybe that is the additional 2% giving us the total 100%.

To tackle those other problems, the housing numbers of “long-term empty homes” rose again in 2023 by 12,556 (or 5%) to 261,189. The number of asylum seekers waiting longer than six months for a decision now stands at 128,812. That means there must be around 132,377 spare ones if we accommodate all those asylum seekers. And wouldn't that money spent on hotels be better spent on bringing those empty homes back into good use?

“What a lot these people are costing us!” cry government ministers. However, if we allowed them to work and pay tax at the basic rate, it would earn the UK coffers at least half a billion pounds annually. It would not prevent or hinder processing their asylum application. It would undoubtedly help the system.

Of course, if you solve these problems, what will you use as sound bites? 'Stop the Boats!' What else could be used to persuade you to think “We, the government are protecting you. This means you really need to keep us in government.”

Does anyone leave the UK with, maybe, a bit of balance? In the year ending December 2022, approximately 557,000 people emigrated from the United Kingdom, 92,000 of whom were British citizens, 202,000 were EU citizens, and 263,000 were non-EU citizens. So, doing those sums again:

·        Out = 557,000

·        In = 128,812

·        Net loss = 428,188



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