The UK government has announced over the weekend that they are planning to tighten up immigration rules by demanding that non-EU immigrants earn at least £18.600 per year in order to be allowed to bring a partner over to the UK. The partner will then also be ‘on probation’ for five years before a permanent residence permit is issued. And it becomes even harder when there are children around. The amount required then rises sharply.
Government Minister Theresa May announced this plan during a TV show on Sunday morning and you really wonder why she announced it on air. Is it to scare immigrants from considering coming to the UK? Or is it to grab some much needed headlines as the ruling parties are trailing in the opinion polls?
One thing is certain though. The current coalition government is becoming rapidly known for their u-turns. They announce one thing one day and then announce the complete opposite the following day, claiming that reality has forced their hands. As with so many governments these days plans are often not properly thought through and are frequently announced as a knee jerk reaction to bad showings in the opinion polls. So wait for the change in policy…..
When you look at the contribution to the economy of foreign born UK residents a rather different picture emerges. DWP statistics show foreign-born residents – at 13% of the population – represent only 6.4% of benefits claimants; 7% of foreign-born residents receive them, compared with 17% of UK-born residents.
A third of the population in London was born abroad and the South-Eastern part of the UK is the only region in the UK that contributes more than it receives from the national coffers. Migrants tend to contribute enormously to the economy, just ask any of the 400,000 French who have fled their red tape ridden country in order to have an opportunity to build a future without government controlling most parts of your life.
Might there be another reason for this I wonder? Statistics in the past showed that migrants tend to vote in larger percentages for the Labour party. Given the current mood in the country and the fact that the Conservatives are trailing in the polls it could be one of those little schemes to limit the number of potential Labour voters. Or am I too cynical here? Labour admitted in the past that this was one of the reasons for opening the borders…..
There is one thing this plan does not stop. Illegal immigration is simply going to continue at the current levels and thanks to the economic crisis is more than likely going to increase. It is not doing anything about that. Rather than creating more red tape Government should address the real issues that plague the UK. 20 – 25% of the nation is incapable of reading the Yellow Pages, despite record numbers going to university. If the UK is going to compete with China, India and Brazil the country better starts education it’s workforce. A low tech workforce is of no good in a high tech society!