Monday, January 08, 2007

 

Mass migration benefits us just pence per head, but that's not including much of the cost

The report by Migrationwatch that mass migration benefits each of us to the tune of just a Mars bar a month, is in line with all other studies and is very welcome, but what about some of the major costs that offset this benefit to make mass migration heavily negative in economic as well as social terms?
 
Where is the quantification of the overall costs of immigration in terms of the disenconomies of scale that mass immigration's stretching of infrastructure produces? Costs of mass migration are not simply a balance between tax receipts and tax credits and benefits.
 
I question the wisdom of separating discussion of any benefit from the full range of costs and in any way ceding the demonstrably false notion that there is an overall positive economic impact, however minuscule. People may forget quite how tiny is the benefit, but what's more, are likely to ignore the other major costs.
 
Reliance on the Government's own figures as to numbers of migrants and dependents is a major distortion, and realistic figures would make the economic impact significantly negative even without factoring in infrastructure stress. Given that nobody accepts Home Office figures as remotely accurate, then conservative guesstimates surely are in order. As Migrationwatch has pointed out in the past: only one in five legal migrants comes to Britain to work, and the Government is always over-estimating economic activity rates of migrants and massively under-estimating their numbers.
 
The tiny benefit that may be apparent through looking only on the positive side, looks even sillier when you consider that now is a time of sustained economic boom. We already have high levels of unemployment in certain ethnic minority groups, and when there is a serious downturn it is expected that these and recent migrant groups more generally will figure prominently in the shakeout of jobs. The costs of mass immigration will then be inescapable. In the past, the economic blight and social problems were restricted to certain places, notably the Lancashire and West Yorkshire mill towns. In the future it will be country-wide.

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