The news that Cameron’s proposed benefit changes relating to migrant workers will have little impact on the number of migrants coming to the UK is hardly surprising. The reality is that migrants come to the UK to work, not seek benefits.
Figures from the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants (JCWI) show that EU migrants make up just 2.2% of the out of work benefits bill and 5% of tax credit recipients.
The reality is that Cameron probably knows that the benefits for migrants issue is one big red herring that he hopes will enable him to lance the migration boil in terms of EU membership.
He must also know that the idea of cutting migration to the UK is clearly absurd. The much trumpeted economic recovery, prefaced on the creation of hundreds of thousands of low paid jobs depend almost entirely on migrant labour. It has been the tax receipts from EU migrants over recent years that have helped improve the overall outlook of the British economy. Let’s remember EU migrants pay 64% more in taxes than they take out in benefits (JCWI).
Britain’s ageing population cannot sustain itself without migration, what is needed is higher minimum standards of work and pay to ensure that migrants are not used as a force to undercut other workers. Unionisation of migrant labour is another vital prerequisite to continuing to build a diverse, prosperous society.