Ukip has embraced a nil net immigration policy based on a one in one out to leave the population unchanged by immigration. In the year ending Sept 2016 596,000 people came to the UK and 323,000 left giving a net migration figure of 273,000 more coming than going. That is the number of people who were not British citizens would have been refused residence under the scheme proposed by Ukip.
The internationalists tell us that the woes of the world will come upon us should we radically curtail immigration, although, like Lear threatening retribution, (“I will do such things–What they are, yet I know not: but they shall be the terrors of the earth.”) they are unable to say exactly what the woes will be. In fact, I cannot recall ever having seen an article in the British media which goes beyond lazy generalisation about “competing in a global market” or “driving private enterprise abroad”. The reality is rather different.
The effects on the British labour market of a radical reduction of immigrants
There would be greatly improved employment opportunities for the British. The labour market would tighten and wages would rise. That would place extra costs on employers but they could be offset by a reduction in taxation due to millions of people being employed who are currently unemployed or underemployed and receiving in work benefits. Nor would wages rise uniformly. Labour would move into those occupations which are essential and which cannot be provided at a distance, for example healthcare and education. We would discover how occupations rank in terms of utility. Wages would rise in those occupations which had most utility to attract staff from elsewhere. This could have surprising results. We might find that vital jobs considered menial now would pay much more once cheap labour could no longer be brought in. This would be justice for the many who have seen their jobs undervalued because of the ability of employers to use cheap immigrant labour.
Employers would respond to labour tightening by using labour more efficiently. Automation would increase and employers would change their attitude to the employment of the long-term unemployed, older people and the disabled. Both employers and government would take vocational training more seriously. Government would provide incentives to employers to train their staff and increase the training of public service professionals such as doctors and dentists.
Employers who could not find the labour to run their business in this country would have to accept they could not do so. No one has a right to engage in an enterprise regardless of the effects on the welfare of the community as a whole which is effectively the present position. Capital which cannot be used in this country can be invested abroad and the profits from that brought to the UK. The UK balance of payments would be improved by a reduction in the money being remitted abroad by immigrants.
The increase in employment of Britons would be an immense social good beyond reducing the cost to the Exchequer of the unemployed, for people are generally happier and more responsible when employed .
The pressure on public services, transport and housing would be lessened making access to them easier for Britons. An ending of mass immigration would also curtail the substantial cost of providing the benefits of the welfare state to immigrants as soon as they gain the right to legal long term residence in Britain.
Fewer legal immigrants would allow much greater supervision of visitors to Britain – a significant minority of whom are health tourists or who are here for criminal purposes – and a proper control and investigation of illegal immigrants. No more sending suspected illegals to the Croydon reception office under their own speed or leaving ports and airfields with an inadequate or completely absent Borders Agency presence. We could then not only refuse new immigrants but start removing the illegal immigrants who are already here.
Would there be an unmanageable labour shortage?
The idea that Britain is short of labour for most purposes is absurd. The official figure for those of working age ((16-64) who are economically inactive in the UK is just under 9 million, or nearly a quarter of the age group. Clearly not all of those would be able or willing to work, but equally clearly a large proportion would be able and willing to work if the conditions were right, for example, wages rose, employers became more accommodating and the benefits system was tightened as the number of opportunities for work rose.
The claim that the indigenous population will not do the jobs immigrants take is demonstrably false for in areas of the country with few immigrants native Britons do them willingly. In addition, vast swathes of work have been effectively denied to the native population by collusion between employers and those who supply labour. This happens both within the indigenous ethnic minorities who only employ from their own ethnic group and within immigrant labour which commonly works through gangmasters who are immigrants themselves. This does not just occur in areas such as fruit picking and factory assembly work but in areas such as the NHS where we have the absurdity of doctors and nurses trained in Britain having to go abroad to find jobs because immigrants are employed here.
It is also important to understand that the menial jobs immigrants take are worth far more to them than a native Briton because wages are so much higher in the UK than they are in the country from which the immigrant hails. Take the example of an immigrant who earnings are taxed properly and who earns the minimum UK wage. Even if they earn the UK minimum wage of £7.20 ph for those over 24 years of age that is an annual wage for a 40 hour week of £14,976. The minimum wage in for example Poland is worth around £400 pm (£5,000 pa) , despite the fact that Poland is one of the larger and better developed economies of the Eastern European countries which supply so many of the immigrants to the UK. Immigrants coming from less developed countries will find the differential between wages here and their country of origin much larger, for example,
Many immigrants live in accommodation either supplied and subsidised by an employer or in crowded accommodation which works out at very little per head rent. Substantial numbers work in the black market and pay no income tax or national insurance. Quite a few draw in work benefits such as Child Benefit even if their children are not in this country. In these circumstances migrants from the poorer member states should be able to save a few thousand pounds a year from their wages . If the money is remitted back to the immigrant’s home country or the immigrant returns home a few thousand sterling will be worth in purchasing power in the home country multiples of what it is worth in the UK.
As for skilled workers, most jobs are as they have always been unskilled or low skilled. For those occupations which are skilled but non-essential , the work can be done by people working abroad, for example, most IT work falls into that category. The skilled occupations with indispensable skills which could not be sourced from our own people if training was provided, for example, doctors and nurses. There are presently far more applicants for medical training places than are currently filled.
Do Britons want an end to mass immigration?
Concern about immigration has been at the top of issues concerning the British for years; this despite the fact that every mainstream British political party has with the willing collusion of the British media, doing everything they can to suppress unfettered public debate about the issue.
In 2014 The think-tank British Future published their report How to talk about immigration based on research conducted by ICM, Ipsos MORI and YouGov. One finding is truly startling. Faced with the question “The government should insist that all immigrants should return to the countries they came from, whether they’re here legally or illegally” the result was Agree 25%, disagree 52% and neither 23%. (P17 of the report). In addition, many of those who said no to forced repatriation were also firm supporters of strong border controls and restrictive immigration policies.
The fact that 25% of the population have overcome their fear of falling foul of the pc police and say that they do not merely want immigration stopped but sent into reverse is stunning. Moreover, because political correctness has taken such an intimidating place in British society it is reasonable to assume that a substantial number of those who said they disagreed did so simply out of fear of being accused of racism.
The obverse of the immigration coin was shown by the question “In an increasingly borderless world, we should welcome anyone who wants to come to Britain and not deter them with border controls” (P16 of the report). The results were 14% agree, 67% disagree and 19% don’t know.
Anyone who believes that the British people welcomed the post-war immigration and want more of it is self-deluding to the point of imbecility.