The Myth of the Immigrant Benefit-Moocher, Part Two

19 February 2013

1:24 PM

19 February 2013

1:24 PM

I am afraid, dear reader, that I have misled you. Yesterday’s post on immigrants and benefit-claimants contained an inaccuracy. I repeated a claim I’d seen in the Telegraph that there are almost 14,000 Polish-born people claiming unemployment benefit in Britain. This is not the case. The true picture of Polish benefit-dependency is very different.

There are, in fact, fewer than 7,000 Poles claiming the Job Seekers’ Allowance. Indeed, there are fewer than 13,000 JSA claimants from the “Accession Eight” countries (Poland, Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Lithuania, Latvia, Estonia and Slovenia). Whatever else these eastern europeans have been doing in Britain, they’ve not been mooching off the benefits system. And it is a lie – dirty and simple – to suggest they are.  There are, in fact, twice as many benefit claimants from “old” europe as there are from “new” europe. (See Table 2 here for confirmation.)

To stick with the Poles for a moment. There are more than half a million Polish-born people living in the UK. Some 6,390 of them, according to this DWP report from last year, are claiming the JSA. A further 4,390 are receiving ESA and incapacity benefits and 800 take advantage of lone parent benefits. Poland is the only country from eastern europe that features in the top 20 nationalities in any of these categories. (Table 4, linked above. Of course, today’s figures may be a little different. But you get the general idea, I think.)

Now, perhaps Romanian and Bulgarian workers seeking better lives for themselves in Britain will avoid the Polish route but there seems little obvious reason for thinking so. Precedent is against the doom-sayers and panic-sowers. That does not mean their fears must prove mistaken but they’ve failed  – thus far anyway – to offer any persuasive analysis supporting their fears that Britain will be “swamped” by a tide of benefit-spongeing Bulgars.


But, but, but, splutter the critics, what about the services they consume? Don’t all these eastern european migrant workers seeking better, more prosperous lives for themselves cost the British state more than they give? Shouldn’t they only be allowed to remain in this country if they prove themselves net contributors? Whatabout this? Whatabout this? Whataboutery everywhere.

Fortunately some research has been done on this. A 2009 paper (there is little reason to suppose it out of date) by a collection of UCL academics provides some of the answers. Here they are:

Restricting analysis to those immigrants who have been in the UK for more than one year as A*’s eligibility for many benefits is limited for the first year in the UK, the study finds that A8 immigrants are about 60% less likely than natives to receive state benefits or tax credits, and to live in social housing. Even if A8 immigrants had the same demographic characteristics of natives, they would still be 13% less likely to receive benefits and 28% less likely to live in social housing.

Put that in your pipe and smoke it. I suppose these findings will surprise some people. But they shouldn’t. Not really. After all, most immigrants from eastern europe are healthy young people. They’re not expensive pensioners or children. The average A8 immigrant is 25 years old. And well-educated. 35% of them were still in full-time education aged 21 (compared to 17% of native Britons). No wonder they are attractive to employers. No surprise, then, that the employment rate for A8 migrants is considerably higher than it is for natives. Many of them are working well-below their “pay grade”. This, of course, will change as those that stay work their way up.

Of course, many will not stay. They will contribute to Britain for a few years before returning home. Churn is an inescapable feature of the single european labour market. As for their contribution to the Treasury, the paper finds good news there as well:

The key results are that in each fiscal year since enlargement in 2004, A8 immigrants made a positive contribution to public finance. For instance, in the latest fiscal year, 2008-09, A8 immigrants paid 37% more in direct or indirect taxes than they received in public goods and services.

In that year, immigrants from Poland and other eastern european countries comprised 0.91% of the population, commanded 0.60% of government expenditure and contributed 0.96% of government revenues.

Those that do stay, putting down roots, having a family and so on will doubtless consume a greater share of public services in the future. But that will be offset, one imagines, by the fact that, being well-educated and hard-working, by the increased taxes  – direct and indirect – they pay as they move from “routine and semi-routine occupations” to “managerial and professional occupations” more in keeping with their backgrounds and talents.

Politicians are always talking about the importance of a well-educated workforce. And rightly so. A good part of London’s economic supremacy is built upon the fact that its workforce contains a higher proportion of degree-holders than any other British city. It is perverse to discourage or complain about an influx of educated, motivated workers streaming to Britain from eastern europe. Their presence, as I have said before, is an economic stimulus in itself. Moreover, I think you can also look upon those that choose to stay as a long-term investment in Britain.

That’s a good thing and something to be celebrated rather than a cause for despair or nativist revulsion. Immigration from eastern europe has been good for Britain.

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  • craigycraigo

    I hate the way people turn a blind eye to a growing problem in the UK (and other countries like Ireland) and use the excuse of people being RACIST, immigration is like a parasite, slowly but surely destroying the UK. Everybody talks about numbers, and percentages etc etc. Lets go off what we see in everyday life, lets look at facts that we come across every day of the week, lets look at the way the country has changed over the years, is it a coincidence that the country has got worse as the number of immigrants has increased?? I dont think so!

    Its simple maths that will make things clear and simple KNOWN FACTS that should open peoples eyes to the growing problem the UK has. Below are just a few examples of how the government could use the maths to realise that immigration is of no benefit to our country (the following are examples of what you see and hear in day to day life and names are just for example purposes) –

    Casper is a polish immigrant working full time in a minimum wage job – he shares a house with 4 polish colleagues (not paying council tax), buys food from the local polish supermarket, buys cheap polish cigarettes from behind the counter at his local polish shop, drinks in the local polish bar and restaurant (which sells polish food and drink), claims tax credits for his 2 children that live with their mother in poland (EU rule), saves his money to send back to his family to save so they can build a new house and start a new business in poland when he thinks the time is right. Casper pays income tax and national insurance, and buys bits and bobs from the local supermarket, BUT, does this small amount that is paid into our system make him an asset to the UK or not? Has Casper paid enough into the system to support other Polish people who are living on benefits? When you compare it to what would happen if there was a UK citizen working in his place, then I think the answer is obviously NO!

    Tariq from India, is allowed to work in the UK and is here with his family of 3 children and his wife. His wife is disabled and cannot work, again Tariq has a minimum wage job and plans to save as much money as possible to return to his country within 10 years to start his own business with his brother. Tariq and his family dont eat out and often buy indian food products and clothes from indian businesses within indian communities who import products directly from india (which are known to keep revenue declarations below £12,000 to avoid tax payment) his wife receives disability living allowance, as a family they claim tax credits, housing benefit, child support, and obviously his children are entitled to free state education. After saving their hard earned money for 10 years they will have a comfortable life in India as they wanted. The question is, has Tariq benefited the UK in any way in the past 10 years or has he been blessed with a faulted system??

    Mike from romania (I worked with this person and is completely true) spoke no english at all and came to the UK in 2006 with his wife and 2 children and worked full time on a minimum wage as a pot washer in the hotel I worked in. He worked there for 1 year, he left the hotel because he said he was ill and couldnt work anymore. While he was working he was claiming child support, housing benefit and his non english speaking wife was claiming JSA. After claiming 3 months sick pay he was later told he had to sign up to the JSA also. Because of his lack of english he spent the next 6 months attending government paid english lessons and basic IT lessons. He then split with his wife so now they have 2 different homes paid for by the government. He went back on the sick with depression, and all the while his wife now being paid to be a single mother. I see mike daily when I walk my dog in the park and I stop to say hello. Every day the same story 8 YEARS LATER, still VERY poor english, neither he nor his wife are working and his children are in government paid school. Is this another case where the government think the taxes paid from his 1 years employment is enough to cover him and his entire family??? This man is 50 years old, if he worked from today until the day he dies in the UK it still wouldnt be enough to pay for the previous years he has been in the UK.

    Paul from nigeria – Living in the UK illegally with his 2 wives and 3 children. Sharing a house with another nigerian family, earning cash in hand working as a labourer, and his 2 wives are working cash in hand in a hotel laundrette. Because of duplicate legal passports and false paperwork his children are state school receiving a full education paid for by the british taxpayer. When they have saved enough money they would like to return to nigeria and open up an internet cafe. If they decide to stay in england they will try and claim legal asylum due to the years they have already spent in the UK and due to their children being integrated with the country after so many years in the education system. Question is, will all those years not paying into the system be of any benefit to the UK??

    I have also worked in Ireland for a few years in the past and was there when the boom of eastern european workers started. The property developers got excited with lots of immigrants wanting housing so borrowed lots of money to build lots of houses. What they didnt realise was that the immigrants just wanted to make quick money and return back to their originating countries to start a new, more comfortable life. The proof of this came after monitoring money sent out of the country which amounted to billions, and the lack of need for the millions of new homes which were being built everywhere due to the amount of house sharing. With all the recent arrivals willing to work for minimum wage the unemployment rate of the local Irish workers obviously rose through the roof and as the dole payments in Ireland are very generous (approx €250 per week for people over 25), in turn people moved home with their parents, the number of locals building and renting houses reduced drastically, to say this had a negative effect on the economy would be an understatement. To this day things are almost the same as when the boom started, except now there are more nationalities entering into Ireland, more immigrants on the dole less jobs for Irish nationals.

    I know people wont take this post seriously, and they will just think I am a racist and dont know what I am talking about. To those people I say “wake up, open your eyes, get into the real world and look around you, stop listening to the bullshit the politicians are feeding you and look at facts!”

    The truth of it is, yes immigrants may bring skills and money to the UK and Ireland, but why cant these skills that are needed be taught to our nationals, spend money on OUR country and OUR people, the effect immigration has as a whole is completely negative, the money they pay into the system becomes a negative number after all the deductions from immigrants on the sick or dole, immigrants sending money out of the country, overcrowding, nhs strain, housing crisis, strained benefits system, underpaid careers, unemployment of UK nationals, the change in traditions, etc etc etc, the list could go on and on!!!!!

    The above examples are FACTS, I have seen it happen, this happens with thousands upon thousands of immigrants, obviously not EVERY immigrant, but by far the examples above outweigh the immigrants that come here to settle and integrate with the UK and its traditions.

    Now the interesting part of this ramble, I myself have been an immigrant, I lived in Spain for the best part of 12 years! Hypocrite I hear you shout, well before you get carried away here are a few facts about ANYBODY that works and lives in Spain –

    To claim dole you must have worked minimum of 180 day on a legal contract, even then you can only claim 6 months of dole and then you must work 180 days again to get the next 6 months dole.

    You do not get housing benefit. You do not get free health care unless you have paid into the system for the 6 months whilst on your contract.

    I did not send or take any money I had out of the country.

    I spent everything I earn on living in the country. Rent, food, drink, etc etc.

    It has a culture of ‘if you don’t work you don’t get anything for free’.

    This is what is lacking in the UK, we are too tolerant of immigrants expecting an easy ride!

    So, lets wake up people, lets take control of the UK, get it back to the glorious country it once was. BEFORE IT IS TOO LATE!!!!!!

    • Scully , fan

      Well written post , it’s so sad it’s true,!!!

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  • Ewa

    Thats really good post.

    I have to completely agree with it… and disagree with some comments. Some of them are absolutely ridiculous.

    It is estimated that there is 1m poles in UK.

    If each of them would earn £12k a year (which obviously a lot of them don’t) that’s £2,400,000,000 does really all poles spend so much money?

    I don’t really know how much people get from job seekers because i never knew any polish person claiming some money. regarding benefits, I have absolutely not a clue too :s

    I believe that there are people from other countries which take more than give.

  • sonkaj

    Free health care
    Free schooling.
    Free police , so they are free, from when??? i thing i pay that in tax. I paytaxes, which use the English and others lazy employees. I am a farm worker and none of English did not want to work here for minimum wages so i do this work and pay taxes for yours benefit – and yes i come to uk from east . When I m in work U are on your sofa . We need to work minimum 12 month to get benefits – so 12 month paying for someone benefits. I woudlike to see how many taxes we esters pay in and hoe many benefits we take out so that will be real true. 🙂

  • judith

    my boyfriend is polish and has been in the uk now for 4 years. I met him 1 1/2 years ago. he has told me he is divorced but still I cant believe him. he always returns to Poland on his own without me every 4 months. He lives with me… how do I know whether to end the relationship in fear him returning to Poland. (as he transfers his money over a lot) he works in the UK.I am just in a muddle whether to end the relationship or continue in fear he is married with kids . please someone give me advice.

  • JohnDSmall

    I think London should declare independence from the rest of the UK so we aren’t held back by all this anti-immigration nonsense. London is a global city and it’s thriving on highly educated immigrants.

    London pays for the rest of the country and all we hear are grumps about immigrants. The best thing is to leave the UK behind with it’s backward thinking and let it sink.

  • vitU9B8plZ,

    This writer is so naive it is unbelievable. It would appear that he is correct in saying that Britain needs overseas employees if this is the standard of knowledge from a British reporter.
    If overseas people are so much in demand and necessary to the future of Britain – can you explain why ANY of them are signing on for benefits at all?
    So Britain is in need of Graduates – then how is it that Graduates in Britain are finding it difficult to find work in their field? How is it that they are having to take a much reduced salary? How is it that there are many misplaced in work that is not up to their standard of education? Why are there so many short term contracts? The list of Graduates increases every year as more and more leave Universities!
    Like, these overseas workers are going to be a great investment to the UK? Yeah! when the negative balance of payments due to having to import additional resources has been addressed, when we have paid back all the loans taken out to pay for all the people coming into the country, when we have sufficient to cover the cost of the EU for making these expensive decisions for us and when we can afford to pay for all those immigrant’s here in the UK – money for their dependents back in their own country then it would be a great investment! Does this reporter have fairies at the bottom of his garden or perhaps he has also been abducted by aliens.

  • DonnaTxx

    Immigration is GREAT for the economy, but just not ours. According to the world bank migrants send home £335 BILLION each year.–times-worlds-total-aid-budget.html

    You cannot say most Poles (to use your example) will go home after a few years as we simply will not know, as we do not keep exit figures, conveniently.

    • Lila

      But if they weren’t working in the UK in the first place, you wouldn’t see any of the money they collectively bring into British economy, would you?

    • Lila

      Also, they may sent Ł335 billion, but they work for up to twice as much (Ł670) to leave in UK by paying taxes, bills, etc.

  • Jacek Cierlinski

    I’ve been in UK since 2006. I work in healthcare (two posts – NHS and private company (spinal injured patients) average about 300 hours monthly. How to explain it? is it because of the particular willingness of the Natives to do this job? I respect English tradition, law, religion (I am the R. Catholic), history and the brotherhood of arm last war ( my late mom who was a resistance hero was rescued in last minute by Mercian Regiment in Belsen-Bergen in 1945) but there is a past.. I think we are descendants of the mutual European Christian Background and it may be a time in the future that we may stand again on the some side of the front. (if you know what I mean observing what is going on here). Believe me that there is not a problem that some of my compatriots sometimes drink or behave inappropriate way. Nobody of us prepares terrorist acts, nobody wants to pull the wheel of the history centuries back, push women to the slave role…. WE ARE ONE EUROPEAN FAMILY WITH THE SAME ROOTS! Byron and Slowacki, Sienkiewicz, Kipling, Dickens, Prus, Turner, Chelmonski…. They are grown from the same tradition!

    True that they are differencies. Late PM M. Thatcher is deeply respected in Poland because of her support during our struggle against the communism and here opinions about her are divided quite deeply. Our gothic cathedrals (that survived) are built with bricks and not stone. You may find more exemples.
    I am driven mad when any scum tries to limit your tradition, celebrations, stc…). It affects us too; believe!
    I tried to be as carefull as possible in my opinion.
    Hope successfully.

    • cbinTH

      I apologise for any discomfort you’ve felt in reading about the controversy over Polish immigration in the UK press. Please be assured, the controversy is not caused by dislike of Poles, but rather by three totally different things: Firstly, the principle that we, the British public, should have the right to decide whether or not to receive massive society-changing numbers of immigrants (in the case of Poland, in 2004 our government massively under-estimated potential immigration, which created a fear that our government are lying to us, or treating us with contempt).
      Secondly, concern over economic consequences; both the fear that we might import poverty – no one likes poverty – and also the recognition that immigration means more workers which definitely means lower wages for some natives.
      Thirdly, we have a deep-seated fear that Eastern European immigrants will become like the other immigrants we have had from further abroad, nations-within-a-nation with an attitude problem stemming from an identity crisis, living in settled communities in the UK. (At the moment, immigration from Poland and Eastern Europe is peculiar in being spread pretty evenly around the country, rather than being concentrated in a few places.)

      Although Poles, as fellow Europeans with a common history, are closer cousins to us than people from further abroad, the UK is not experiencing mass opposition to immigration because of hostility to foreigners, or to different degrees of foreign-ness. We, the British public, don’t dislike foreign countries or foreigners, whether American, Polish, Indian or Chinese (not even the French, really).

      We just don’t feel comfortable with the importation of massive numbers of foreigners into the UK, and the consequent changes in what the UK is, in what it means to be British, – what it does to our identity and to our culture. The examples you gave about our traditions are relevant; the term “Christian name” is no longer used in place of “given name” because the term (which in its dictionary definition applies to everyone) might be offensive to non-Christians. We now have millions of people in the UK who don’t identify with Britain’s pre-mass-immigration past at all. Sometimes they are even actively at odds with it. For many of the rest of us, our identity is closely tied up with the past of our countries, of our ancestors.

      We feel that there is a political or ideological class who are committed to allowing mass immigration, and that the recent importation of people from Eastern Europe is a symptom of that. We do also feel that sometimes such importation is unwise, because we’re importing poverty from countries like Romania and because immigrants bring in competition to often quite modestly paid parts of society. But, principally, when we complain about recent European immigration, we are really taking the chance to complain about immigration as a whole.

      So far, by and large, the immigration from Eastern Europe has been pretty benign – we have no parts of town “belonging” to nationalists from any particular European country, and Eastern Europeans don’t get offended by the sight of a Union Jack, or support the Taliban, and Eastern Europeans are not a political force.

      Nevertheless, were those things to take place (for instance if there were majority-Russian towns with pro-Putin politicians) then Eastern European immigration would no longer be benign, even though the people involved were fellow Europeans and from a fellow Christian culture.

    • redsquirrel
  • David Hamilton

    Immigration has been good for the commercial elites and corporations who Alan Massie represents. It has been good for the middle classes in the short term for restaurant prices and house extensions, in he long term it is a tragedy for the young middle classes who are having “un-natural” competition for the professions. It has been a tragedy for the working classes and their communities, but the commercial elites and their propagandists don’t are about that do they?

  • dba_vagabond_trader

    Nothing like ignoring the gorilla in your room, muslims with multiple wives on benefits. Silly dhimmis.

  • wanderlust-aj

    80% of immigrants come from outside the EU. A cursory look at these groups illustrates that the idea of an immigrant benefit-moocher is very much based on reality.

  • Abbey Lane

    I’m afraid, dear writter, your little blog reads wholly untrue.

  • Dave

    You fail to understand the problem. The most serious problem in England is high unemployment. Especially youth unemployment. The problem is not that Eastern European immigrants go on benefits – they do not. The problem is that they cause a wage deflation – particularly for workers in lower wage jobs – yes many of these Polish immigrants are in lower skilled sectors – that is why they work in hotels, pubs, farms, restaurants etc. We are not talking about rocket engineers here. Locals cannot compete with these wages – unless you want to share accommodation – not possible for a family. It does not pay to train locals either. Lower wages means lower purchasing power – less economic activity, further unemployment. Longer periods unemployed means even less chance natives will get a job, ever. They become unemployable. This will attract more Polish immigrants, and so the cycle continues.

  • Colonel Mustard

    You could have saved yourself a great deal of time and pontification merely by stating you are in favour of unlimited immigration and dislike those who are against (as opposed to merely disagreeing with them).

    It always seems that those on the left, like you, cannot merely disagree or rely on a straightforward argument but have to demonise your opponents to discredit them as well. So they are ‘deniers’ or ‘phobes’; they ‘splutter’, ‘rant’ or ‘foam’; they are ‘swivel-eyed’, or ‘revanchists’, etc. This tendency can be seen everywhere the left muscle into an argument, whether it is climate change or immigration.

    You expect your arguments to be respected, but you do not extend that courtesy to your opponents. And as for diversity – pff! I’d love to see the left extend their love of diversity to politics.

  • Reborn

    I agree that most Eastern Europeans, chiefly Poles, have been good for the UK economy & are likely to benefit us socially if they settle here.
    However, there are very unpleasant & potentially dangerous elements from that part of the world, who get in under the net, often posing as skilled Poles when they are unskilled beggars & highly skilled pickpockets who are often posing as Polish.
    However, much as I welcome most decent immigrants, we must think of our own young people & are own unemployed.
    Some state schools have turned out illiterate louts who have moved straight on to benefits. These unfortunates must not face up to a lifetime on benefits, paid for by taxing those who do work.
    The feckless UK citizens who rely on immigrants to do the jobs they should be doing
    must be made to face the facts of life & be forced to work.
    Even more pressing is the plight of UK citizens of all ages who want to work & can find no employment.
    Immigration at such a massive rate is only going to make their plight worse, no matter how delightful the immigrants are.
    It’s quite simply a matter of numbers & an unsustainable Welfare State.

  • Khaled Moursy

    and as a british person living in Poland what does the ZUS offer us in return to all the benefits that Poles receive in the UK?inflated medical charges, 100% cost of medicines, 0% jobseekers allowance, 0% with accommodation, but hey they still get their 40% out of my pocket every month. If you are going to claim that Poles are the lowest from the new EU, surely it has be the same for Europeans living in Europe, shame you didnt mention the 5,600 children living in Poland claiming UK chile benefit.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Are you listening Anitta?

  • BlitheSpirit

    “Put that in your pipe and smoke it”. Focusing only whether or not they’re on the dole is hardly the point is it?

    How about over population? Has that been good for Britain too?

    • Anitta

      over population has been the only intelligently raised point, in my opinion, in this discussion against the migrants. And that, isn’t migrants fault. They were allowed to come and live here, so…

      • LEngland

        Try to capitalise, finish your sentences and avoid starting a sentence with “And”.
        Thereafter, whatever point you are making will be clear and open to be discussed without ambiguity.

      • Chris Green

        Not so, many are here illegally! Other points raised is that the welfare bill per year is crippling the country!

      • cbinTH

        Disagreeing with a particular level of immigration, including desiring no immigration at all (which not even UKIP advocate), is not a “discussion against the migrants”. No one suggests that migrants are doing anything unethical (apart from illegal migrants, and even then, it is a “victimless” crime), or that migrants are morally inferior, etc.

        In fact, the opposite is the case; it is frequently asserted that migrants are, in a variety of ways, morally superior.

        Nobody is suggesting that the migrants are “at fault”, or to be blamed.

        The majority of the population, however, are suggesting that migration is a phenomenon with multiple aspects, many of them negative, and that a level of migration could take place which would be a definitively bad thing for those already at the destination.

        So your comment is presenting a false dichotomy. It is possible to oppose a particular example of immigration without accusing the migrants of anything disgraceful.

  • Daniel Maris

    I think I’ve noticed a pattern:

    1. Massie posts an emotive defence of mass immigration based on a special case (veiled thinly in some quote from statistics).

    2. People debate this but Massie does not stoop to answer any responses.

    3. Very soon thereafter Massie posts something new as it were to curtail further discussion of the immigration issue.

    All very odd – especially from someone who CHOOSES to live in the Borders, one of the areas in the UK least affected by mass immigration. Why would someone living in the Borders decide to become such a passionate advocate for mass immigration? Odd…

    • MacTurk

      You stated that “I think I’ve noticed a pattern:”.

      You then go on to comprehensively prove that you have no pattern recognition skills at all.

      You also prove that your brain is hermetically sealed against any information which might contradict any of your firmly held opinions…..

  • Julie Appleby

    The fact of the matter is though, that a lot of Polish workers here just to earn more money for their families back home in Poland, only keep the bare minimum for their living expenses here and they are sending the majority of their earnings home to Poland so surely simple maths says that thousands of pounds sent out and only hundreds of pounds spent in, is not a fair equation!!! or call me simple minded and Im just not getting it !! and of course don,t forget to times that by how ever many 10s of thousands are doing this on a monthly basis, and before you say but yes they will work 24/7 8 days a week, yes I agree but the money they are earning is not being spent in our country its lost 100s of thousands of pounds !!!!

    • Grrr8

      If only it were that simple. You are not getting it.

      • Daniel Maris

        No, that is a v. pertinent point. If you hire a UK worker you are more or less guaranteed all the money goes into your UK economy. If you hire a Polish or Nigerian worker, that is not the case. They could easily be sending home 30% of their wages.

        • Anitta

          Yeah but it’s their free money, gosh, they can do whatever they want with it! If you’re British, it has not been set in a stone that you will not spend the same 30% of your wages away from Britain or towards something that UK doesn’t benefit from, such as buying stuff over the internet from other countries or while you’re away, travelling etc.

          • LEngland

            “Yes”. Do not be foolish and vain whilst remembering to avoid ‘contractions’ and exclamation marks. Do NOT eschew capitalisation, semi – colons and emotionalisms. Thank you.

          • Chris Green

            Its not free money if its damaging the country ,closing shops ,costing jobs! Fact is some Polish live ten to a house on a share a bed rota system and send about 80% of their wages back to Poland! Get real with it!

            • Colin Denis Hyman

              Polish live up to 10 to a room, not 10 to a house. Some are claiming JSA and are also benefit cheats too, however I guess most are not cheating the system.

          • Von Betelgeuse

            True this, what if a British citizen has a holiday home in Spain?

            • wanderlust-aj

              They are a British citizen.

              Immigrants have been invited here, therefore they should be benefitting the country. We can’t treat them the same as Britons, because they’re not Britons.

              • Rebecca Taylor

                So if France suddenly decided that all British people living in France (they are a few hundred thousand of them) could no longer use the French healthcare system, send their kids to French schools, get unemployment benefit when they lost their job etc just because they’re not French, you’d find that acceptable? Really? I don’t think so!

          • LB

            It is their money. They should be allowed to do with it as they please.

            However, it does mean that the economic benefits of having them here are less

    • Anitta

      what you’re saying is true, since the rent doesn’t have to be paid, wage’s aren’t taxed and they don’t have to live off the food they buy in local supermarkets.

  • Youbian

    So Alex, what would be the ideal number of immigrants to Britain be? Thousands? millions? Or do we just open a door and plan afterwards? What is the tipping point in your opinion?

    • Daniel Maris

      Well done Youbian! I asked him the same question ages ago. Don’t expect an answer.

      But it is a very pertinent question. There is a difference between 10,000 immigrants and 10 million. But Massie refuses to entertain the idea there can be any difference.

      As you intimate, there is a tipping point for nearly everyone. Especially when it impinges on their own lives and the prospects of their children.

  • Framer

    Romanians and Bulgarians don’t figure on those job related benefit figures because they have to be self-employed until next year. They will only show up on child and housing benefit figures presently. Got them?

    The fact that Somalis come top of the list (if you add in the Netherlands figures as most Dutch passport holders claiming benefits are Somali) is a staggering fact.

    • edlancey

      Add in the ‘Germans’ called Hassan and Mehmet while you’re there…

  • sarahsmith232

    a lot do degrees while they’r ehere.
    here’s another stat’
    50% of them don’t pay a penny of the money back.
    the writers stat’s seem a bit off as well. he says that there’s only 17% native Brit’s in education to 21. whereas the Eastern Europeans are, did he write 35%. the 17% seems dodgy but as well, if you knew you could pull a fast one and grab a free degree while here well then, you would be more motivated to get into education.

    • Grrr8

      Besides an inability to capitalise, you also don’t seem to be able to read or comprehend. The 35% refers to migrants educated in their home countries, not in Britain.

      • Anitta

        and besides why does it matter where one had been educated? as long as he’s educated….

        • Chris Green

          Because SOMEBODY HAS TO PAY FOR IT!?

    • Anitta

      a free degree? are you having a laugh????

    • LEngland

      What ?

  • DrBlighty

    Who has benefitted from immigration? UK employers or UK employees?

    • Grrr8

      Employers and employees are all ultimately people. So are consumers. The answer is all of the above.

      • DrBlighty

        I suppose any response is better than no response.

      • wanderlust-aj

        Really, because around 85% of the public want to reduce immigration. It clearly hasn’t benefitted them very much (or they need somebody wise like you to tell them what’s best for them)

        • Grrr8

          I’ll go for your second option 😉

        • G Hillath

          You are confusing public opinion based on perceptions that are often embedded through negative tabloid stories that are invariably lies or half-truths and public opinion based on a grasp of reality. A majority of the public think that a large percentage of benefits are claimed fraudulently but the evidence shows that it’s less than 1%. Public opinion is not infallible, it’s all too easily manipulated by people who don’t have the public interest at heart.

          • wanderlust-aj

            So the public are brainwashed, and only people who know the ‘truth’ (you?) can make decisions?

            All objective evidence shows that immigration has, on balance, been a disaster for the UK since the 1950s. No people have ever voted for it. Why do you, with such arrogance, deny them a right to choose?

            • Wayne

              Wanderlust-aj, what is this evidence? Is it created by reputable sources or is it from reports in the papers? As stated by others above the public is led by the media. Comments like ‘bloody foreigners coming over stealing our jobs’ or the popular ‘they come over and will work for less money’ The fact that these other workers are happy to come over and work for less by definition shows how good the British public have it, the British public are much better off than most other countries. And yet Britain is a disaster. We are the 3rd biggest economy in Europe despite being the 10th biggest in size. As Brits we love to complain. I am sure that there are many Spanish who have exactly the same opinion on the bloody English who come over and drive house prices through the roof making it unaffordable for locals. We have also repopulated large sections of the world (America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa). But I guess that’s different.
              Lets look at the effects on immigration on a country by looking at the country with the biggest immigrant population, America. Damn your right, I mean America must be the poorest country in the world right?
              As Churchill said the problem with Democracy is that even the village idiot gets a vote. BNP, UKIP etc etc are happy to run around scaremongering but I would rather vote for someone who has knows about the economy, the law and the things that the vast majority of the public don’t know enough about to make our decisions rather than a bunch of racist football hooligans.

              • cbinTH

                You say:-
                Lets look at the effects on immigration on a country by looking at the country with the biggest immigrant population, America. Damn your right, I mean America must be the poorest country in the world right?

                Well, Canada has a higher rate of immigration than America, but it’s not richer, is it? And both Canada and America have some peculiarities which make them bad examples. Both have lots of virgin space, and so fewer problems with infrastructure. Both have quite stringent entry requirements for immigrants, although America also has quite a massive illegal immigration problem. What is the other characteristic of America that makes it a bad example for your case? The answer is wages . Although America is a much richer country than us overall, its poor, its working class, its people who do casual jobs earn significantly less than their equivalents do in the UK . Might this not be causally related to the high rate of immigration in the US? The final factor in regards to the US is that it, along with Canada, Australia, etc., is a new, different, kind of nation. One with an identity that is easy to assume. Not an ethnic identity, or an identity tied to the idea that one is living in the society of one’s ancestors.

                And I can turn your logic around: Lets look at the effects on immigration on a country by looking at the country with the smallest immigrant population, Japan. Damn your right, I mean Japanmust be the poorest country in the world right?

                In fact Japan and South Korea accomplished their economic miracles without any assistance from mass immigration and if, tomorrow, the population of Japan’s largest cities were supplemented by millions of foreigners one cannot imagine that massively improved prosperity would be the result. In fact, of the BRIC countries, only Russia is a country with a large number of immigrants.

                So it would appear, using your own methods, that immigration is pretty irrelevant to a country’s success, but that it might have significant negative effects on wages for the most accessible positions in the workforce, eg. the unskilled.

                You say:-
                I am sure that there are many Spanish who have exactly the same opinion on the bloody English who come over and drive house prices through the roof making it unaffordable for locals. We have also repopulated large sections of the world (America, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa). But I guess that’s different.

                I actually think that the modern habit of British property speculation is a bad thing, both in the UK and abroad, and I wouldn’t be surprised if that contributed in some degree to Spanish economic woes. I don’t see why I would resent a Spaniard holding the same opinion. As for the former colonies; what a bizarre assertion! In modern Britain, what we did in our imperialist past is regarded as absolutely wrong, and one of the prime wrongs is the “theft” of the places you mention from their indigenous inhabitants. I happen to think that the natives of Australia, Canada, etc., would indeed have been entitled to say, “Stop! No more immigration, I’m afraid.” It is obvious to me that the swamping of their societies by European immigrants destroyed their cultural identity and their nationhood (and, in some cases, their economic prospects), to the extent that those peoples by and large no longer exist. It is actually the grossest racism on your part to suppose that, because I’m English, I will defend to the hilt every action ever taken by the English of the past.

            • Felix

              Yes they have, in voting to be part of the EU whose founding principles include the free movement of capital and labour.

              Looks like your brain too is hermetically sealed to facts that contradict your irrational opinion. Seems to be quite a lot of that ilk on here. Is there a factory somewhere churning you out?

              • cbinTH

                The EEC they voted to be a part of has not changed the face of Britain, and the migration that is controversial has not come from the members of the EEC as it was in 1973.

                So the British have not voted either for immigration from later-accession countries, nor for the (far more pertinent) immigration from outside the EU.

                The British public have been consistently hostile to the prospect of additional immigration whenever responding to opinion polls for the past 50 years. Consistently hostile. And they always, in those polls, regard immigration as at least a significant current affairs issue. How is it, then, that a majority of the population of Britain’s biggest city – one with twenty per cent of the population and with massive cultural dominance – are now not “White British”? Are not “natives”? Not “ethnic Brits”? How did that happen? Do you think ordinary people made a conscious choice that this would be a desirable outcome?

                According to a recent poll by Searchlight, affiliated to Hope-Not-Hate, only 2 per cent of the British public are to be categorised as “comfortable multiculturalists”, whilst a large proportion even of 1st or 2nd generation immigrants are concerned about excessive immigration. However, faced with a choice between large pro-immigration political parties and the only anti-immigration party (always small and fringe and fascist), the public have consistently chosen to vote for the pro-immigration parties.

                Perhaps because of the difficulty in formulating an anti-immigration policy without racial overtones, or perhaps because of the aggressive labelling of anti-immigration commentary as racist, the British public have never been offered a choice as to whether to experience the costs and benefits of an increasingly multi-cultural nation. Unless you regard the BNP, etc, as a choice. So Wanderlust-aj was correct on that one point, and your correction was inaccurate, which tends to imply that it is your brain that is hermetically sealed, rather than his.

                Since British society has consistently developed in a way that the British public would almost certainly have voted against were it ever put to a referendum, we can say that something undemocratic has occurred.

                Considering the large numbers of those who are either immigrants, descended from immigrants, or related to immigrants through marriage or through friendship. Considering this massive interest group who are directly interested in society’s continued apparent enthusiasm about immigration, and considering the pro-immigration propaganda consistently put out by the most important and influential media outlets, including all the “respectable” papers, the radio and the television – the fact that even today a majority of respondents to polls do not favour mass immigration is a remarkable thing, and shows that people hold deep-rooted well-considered views.

    • Chris Green

      Obviously the Employers ,they have a vast supply of cheap workers ,keeping wages low, who are ignorant of employment laws ,union rights ,holiday entitlements ,work breaks. No co-incidence in my opinion.Left wing types on here should be proud!

  • Grrr8

    I await the first comment to assert that the true problem isn’t those white christian European Poles but those dark skinned muslim 3rd world Somali and Pakistani migrants. Its called moving onto the next target.

    • sarahsmith232

      a lot of people, including the Eastern Europeans, slag the Africans and Asians, don’t need to read stats for that.

    • edlancey

      ” Its called moving onto the next target.”

      No, it’s called being able to see through Massie’s pathetic strawman argument.

    • Colonel Mustard

      Looks like you made it.

    • Chris Green

      Yes they are the worst! Specially when they go around blowing people up on the Tube or London buses! (Or caught trying)

  • LB

    There are, in fact, fewer than 7,000 Poles claiming the Job Seekers’ Allowance


    JSA only last 6 months. You’ve been economical with the truth.

    How many Poles are on

    Housing benefit?
    Receiving child benefit?
    Income support?

    How many are paying less than 11K a year in tax, the average government spend per head?

    If they are paying less, then its likely that they are being subsidised by others.

    Free health care
    Free schooling.
    Free police


    All those freebies add up.

    • Grrr8

      Wow you really are a closed-minded thicko aren’t you? Both Alex and I make careful arguments to you pointing out you are wrong. Alex has hard data. You just keep beating on the same drum.

      • LB

        Alex has been very selective.

        He’s implied that JSA and welfare claimants are the same set of people. JSA claimants are just a subset of welfare claimants.

        Why would he do that? Ah yes, he wants to manipulate the number of welfare claimants down, to make his point. A form of selective lying.

        Welfare claimants are just a subset of the problem of migration. I don’t mind any migrant who pays their way and doesn’t require a direct or indirect subsidy from other people.

        Hence Alex’s omission of the indirect subsidy. ie. Not paying more in tax that you consume in government services. Another bit of selective truth telling.

        Here’s another one. Daily Mail.–50m-send-Polish-criminals-home-face-justice.html

        50 million to send convicts back. Not included in Alex’s benefits of migration. Why would he omit the cost? Selective telling to make his point.

        Then we have the housing mess.

        So here’s a suggestion. Alex can sponsor a migrant. If they don’t pay enough tax, or go onto welfare, he can pay the costs. Nothing stopping him from doing it now

        • Grrr8

          I suggest you read the 2009 paper he references, particularly Table 2. That mostly (excluding deficit expenditures) addresses your accusation of ‘selectivity’ on looking at just welfare claimants + the issue of the ‘indirect subsidy’. I’m sure your whopping £50M (lets see thats <£10 per migrant per year on average from the ever credible DailyFail ) is included in those calculations.

          As to the 'housing mess', I suggest you devote your energies to the more creative task of campaigning to build more houses.

          • LB

            Supply and demand. You can cure the problem with either, or a combination.

            Table 1 is quiet interesting.

            Total claimants 6.4%
            Foreign claimants 8.5%

            So what was it again about migrants being better than UK nationals?

            Some are, some aren’t.

            So lets deal with the migrants who aren’t economically beneficial. If you want them here, you sponsor them, and make up the short fall. What’s stopping you? I guess its that you don’t have the cash. Neither do lots of people.

            • Grrr8

              You are looking at the wrong study. And I’m now bored of this conversation.

              Guess what, we are in the EU. The EU has free movement of labour. If you want to stop this, campaign hard.

              I think A8 migration has been hugely beneficial to the UK (and the migrants). I don’t need to sponsor anyone to get more of it. A8 migrants already have the right to live and work in the EU.

              • LB

                Yep, and its not to the UK’s economic benefit.

                You’re right too on the freedom, but you’ve missed off 3 of them.

                Freedom of movement of goods, services, people and capital.

                The last one is the one that the left’s trying to prevent. Imagine people and companies exercising their freedom to move where tax is low. How evil that people are free.

                • LEngland

                  Yes. “Yep” signifies foolish, conformistic vanity.

                • Felix

                  “The last one is the one that the left’s trying to prevent. Imagine people and companies exercising their freedom to move where tax is low.”

                  The left? Really? So was it a George Osborne lookalike who signed an agreement to recoup unpaid tax on capital deposited in Swiss bank accounts? Was it the same lookalike who also hailed the G20’s “new global standard” to clamp down on “cross-border tax evasion and avoidance in low tax countries that undermine our public finances and our people’s trust in the fairness of the tax system”? Was it? Well blow me over if he didn’t fool me.

                  Christ, I’ve never been below the line on this site, but boy never have I encountered a bigger bunch of ill-informed thickos.

              • Dogsnob

                ‘And I’m now bored of this conversation.’
                Reads: ‘You’ve countered each of my arguments comprehensively and I’m just not used to that kind of behaviour’

                • Grrr8

                  Dogsnob needs new reading glasses? Or a lesson in English comprehension? Was the argument too complex for you to follow?

              • Daniel Maris

                Oh dear, you didn’t last longer than the first round before you threw in the towel.

              • Colonel Mustard

                Bored with. Fed up with.

                Tired of.

                Got it?

              • LEngland

                Bored “with”.

                • Grrr8

                  I’ll happily cede the grammar domain to you. Even though I won a few prizes for English composition whilst at school.

          • Colonel Mustard

            Your comment fails the moment you use the term “Daily Fail”, which must be left-scripted because it is appearing everywhere.

            See my comments on the left’s approach to debate and diversity elsewhere here.

        • Felix

          That’s because he doesn’t have to as the government has already done it for him. Its very own stats show migrants are net contributors to the economy, that they pay in more than they take out, so you better go away and start thinking of a sounder line of attack.

      • Daniel Maris

        It’s you who are refusing to address the hard data which LB has put to you. Are you claiming that JSA is the only type of benefit a Pole in this country may receive?

        • Grrr8

          Daniel – on this particular topic you have a blind spot the size of England. Best to not sully the discussion w/ your presence.

          • Daniel Maris

            Yep, well that just reaffirms your refusal to debate the issues. In desperation you resort to ad hominem attacks.

            • Colonel Mustard

              They always do. It is standard lefty tactics:-

              1. Begin with a partisan interpretation of words and language that favours the leftist perspective of the world;

              2. Add dodgy statistics and/or statements as to supposed fact;

              3. Repeat ad nauseum, indifferent to counter argument;

              3. When that all fails resort to ad hominem attacks, preferably rooted in political correctness, to discredit, marginalise and de-legitimise dissent.

              • LEngland

                3 – to “attempt” to –

    • Anitta

      those “freebies” exist in eastern Europe countries as well, and some might think that all that stuff, such as health care and schooling might even be better down there. So don’t make such big deal out of it.

      • LB

        It is a big deal. Everyone in the UK is paying a heavy price for the ‘freebies’ in the UK. What other countries do is up to them. The UK has a responsibility for British citizens. To implement a policy that makes the worse off economically by accepting immigrants who consume more than they contribute damages everyone here.

      • Colonel Mustard

        Really? What “benefits” would I get in Romania?

      • Chris Green

        Yeah right YOU WILL get free health care ,education ,benefits, housing if you pack your bags and turn up in Poland ,Romania, Bulgaria etc. What planet are you living on?

    • Chris Green

      Well said LB .A good way to shut up a few feeble minded left wingers is to point out that immigrants can work and still get benefits.So all this talk in this article of only 7,000 Poles in the UK are claiming JSA is complete and utter nonsense.Because many many are working and claiming other benefits!

    • ea89
      • LB

        Read it.

        Now lets see the argument you’re making.

        Some migrants are good for the UK so all migrants are good.

        I’ve heard similar arguments made elsewhere.

        Some Muslims are terrorists so all Muslims are terrorists.

        That ignores the racism in the report too. The British are crap, we’re Migrants and we’re better than you.

    • Felix

      Average govt spend per person is a zombie stat. Healthy working people between the ages of 20 and 60 are not a cost of 11K a year as they are all, Brits and migrants alike, paying in more than they take out at that particular period of their life. They are only a net cost to the state before and after those ages, but dimwits like yourself could could never grasp such basic economic realities.

      • LB

        It’s not. It’s a clear level.

        The young have to support the old and the very young. The young also will want their pensions when old, migrant or not.

        So migrants on benefits are not paying their way. They consume other people’s taxes or they consume benefits taking them away from others.

        Rich migrants on the other hand are good.

        If you are right, then you will be able to say that Abu Hamzah who consumed vast resources was a benefit to the UK.

        Over to you to answer.