The Corner


Economist Robert Rowthorn in the Sunday Telegraph :   “…the Government’s claim about the economic benefits of immigration is false. As an academic economist, I have examined many serious studies that have analysed the economic effects of immigration. There is no evidence from any of them that large-scale immigration generates large-scale economic benefits for the existing population as a whole. On the contrary, all the research suggests that the benefits are either close to zero, or negative. Immigration can’t solve the pensions crisis, nor solve the problem of an ageing population, as its advocates so often claim. It can, at most, delay the day of reckoning, because, of course, immigrants themselves grow old, and they need pensions. The injection of large numbers of unskilled workers into the economy does not benefit the bulk of the population to any great extent. It benefits the nanny-and housecleaner-using classes; it benefits employers who want to pay low wages; but it does not benefit indigenous, unskilled Britons, who have to compete with immigrants willing to work hard for very low wages in unpleasant working conditions. For low-skilled Britons, the result is that there are only two options: very low pay or unemployment. The economy becomes dependent on a constant influx of immigrants who are willing to accept low pay and poor working conditions. That is what Labour ministers mean when they insist that “public services would collapse without immigrants”. It is bizarre that the Labour Party, which still continues to insist that it is the party of the poor and vulnerable, should endorse a policy the purpose of which is the creation of what Marx called “a reserve army of labour”: a pool of workers whose presence ensures that rates of pay for cleaners and ancillary staff in the NHS can be kept as low as possible…. [emphasis added]“   Once again, this sounds familiar.

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