Thursday 10 June 2010

Give me your poor, your huddled masses…

Hina Majid (legal policy director of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants) thinks that in order to ‘tackle global poverty’, Britain should…

Well, can anyone guess? Anyone? Bueller?

Yup, that’s right – the answer is ‘take in more immigrants’:
As David Cameron notes: "By the end of today about 1,400 women will have died in pregnancy or childbirth, nearly all of them in the developing world." In the same period 25,000 children will have died as a result of global poverty.

Meanwhile, the other half of the world – those who live on less than $2.50 per day – might look on incredulously at the PM's "commitment to supporting" them. This is accompanied by a commitment to cap already declining immigration to the UK by non-EU nationals, thereby blocking their chances of immeasurably improving their standard of living.
What about our standard of living? Isn’t that what’s supposed to concern our government the most?
The use of immigration as a tool for dealing with global poverty is not new. Indeed it was the economist John Kenneth Galbraith who observed that: "Migration is the oldest action against poverty. It selects those who most want help. It is good for the country to which they go; it helps break the equilibrium of poverty in the country from which they come."

Galbraith's observations remain pertinent. A World Bank study estimated that the benefits of the rich countries allowing just a 3% rise in their labour force through relaxing immigration restrictions would result in a gain of $300bn for developing countries.
And yet, it’s the voters that decided they were not in favour of more mass immigration. They could have voted for a pro-immigration party. They didn’t.
But doesn't migration drag down the wages of the lower paid? Research differs, but the overall view seems to be that immigration has not had statistically significant impacts on wages for those on low incomes.
And what about population density, housing prices, competition for services, cultural clashes..?

Are all of those 'not significant'?
And what about migrants "taking jobs"? As the economist Philippe Legrain points out there is no evidence that migrants are "taking jobs" – the increased supply of labour has been matched by demand.
That’s why we have so many on the dole, I suppose?

But Hina doesn’t just want useful migrants (whom, incidentally, don't get the easy ride that you'd expect).

No, that would be unfair, and unequal. We need to take in the unskilled too:
The Labour government substantially pushed up the costs of migrating to the UK, making it all but impossible for the poorest to move to the UK. The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI), for example, calculated that an average-sized family from Bangladesh seeking to come to the UK under tier 1 of the UK's immigration system would require approximately 1.3m Bangladeshi takas. This would typically take an accountant or professor in Bangladesh more than 18 years to earn.
I wonder how many Hina plans to take in?
Unskilled labour exists in surplus in developing countries, and therefore represents one of their most valuable exports. We receive skilled labour at subsidised rates, as the costs of training it will have been borne by developing countries – hardly the basis of a fair transaction.
Let’s stop, then. How about that, Hina?

Still, she does have an afterthought:
Our domestic poor must not be forgotten either. An immigration cap does little to address their real needs. We would do better to raise and enforce the minimum wage, enhance training opportunities, step up labour law protection, and refocus public expenditure on frontline services such as housing.
Sure, why not.

We can easily afford it, after all, right?


Uncle Marvo said...

I'm assuming that this chap (is it a chap?) gets paid for this, too.

Watch for the bleats of "accident of birth".

Retort with "pikey".


Brian, follower of Deornoth said...

I had a peruse of the JCWI website, and I'm obliged to say I suspect a fake charity. See here

There's a lot of 'publicly funded free' services and the income from 'donations and grants' is curiously undifferentiated.

Dr Evil said...

But there are many unskilled British people who are not worth paying the minimum wage to. And many on benefits are better off not working. With this being the case why import more from Bangladesh or anywhere else? what is this woman smoking?

Sue said...

Funny.. and there's me thinking that we already send millions abroad to "save the poor" (without the electorates consent).

What's next, we take one each?

Anonymous said...

Even when they try the result is as expected!

Furor Teutonicus said...

But doesn't migration drag down the wages of the lower paid? Research differs, but the overall view seems to be that immigration has not had statistically significant impacts on wages for those on low incomes.

Dumb twat.

They were not ON low wages before the scum arrived.

The going price for a landscape gardener (My Brother was one), is about €15 per hour.

Along come the damn Poles, and do the job for €5 per hour!

How? Because they bugger off back home to Poland every evening. In comparison to Polish wages, €5 per hour is a bloody fortune. AND it is tax free!

Needless to say, the Dole here is FULL of German people who are trained gardeners.

That is ONE example of a job that has been killed. But everything from Brickys, to scaffolders,, even carpet fitters, are ALL effected.

Further South it is czechs doing it.

rolly said...

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The King of Wrong said...

rolly said:
"Stand Up Take Action 2010. We need you"

And the 2010 Blogstar prizes for Zero Reading Comprehension and Epic Point-Miss go to...

JohnRS said...

Come on George...JCWI...chop!!

Plenty more where that came from, unfortunately.

Mark said...

Uncle Marvo-
it's a 'she' not a 'he', and her stock in trade is grievance mongering on ethnic, gender or 'disability' grounds.

A textbook example of the sort of bilge she extrudes (at our expense) is to be found (surprise surprise !) on CiF-

JuliaM said...

"...I suspect a fake charity."

Oh, yes. It has all the hallmarks, doesn't it?

"What's next, we take one each?"

If the Righteous want to start (Madonna and Angela Jolie notwithstanding), I'm right behind them...

"Even when they try the result is as expected!"


"That is ONE example of a job that has been killed."

Indeed. I'd say you can't argue with reality, but CiF columnists seem to make a tidy living out of doing just that...

"And the 2010 Blogstar prizes for Zero Reading Comprehension and Epic Point-Miss go to..."


Seen that one at a few other blogs yesterday...

"...her stock in trade is grievance mongering on ethnic, gender or 'disability' grounds."

Just once, I'd like to see someone on CiF try a different tack for once.