1. Mass migration decrease wages
Full Fact UK has denied the claim that a 10% rise in immigration has resulted in a 2% reduction in wages. This claim originates from a misreading of the Bank of England’s reporting which had identified that in 2004-2006 and in 2012-2014, there was an increase of 8% in the number of low-skilled and semi-skilled migrants in the UK which was accompanied by a slight decrease in wages.
The Prime Minister has claimed that as companies have access to large reserves of labour, they can employ foreign for cheaper wages. There is some truth in this as workers were paid £8 pounds an hour. However, this amounts to a negligible one or two pence per hour for each year.
Instead, scholars have pointed to separate factors such as the decline of trade unions which could argue for fixed minimum wages for all as well as changes in technology and trade.
In fact, the reverse could be argued, according to the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), in 201 the average European migrant has contributed £2,370 more to the British Treasury than his British born counterpart which has a positive effect on wages.
2. Immigrants are abusing the NHS
The claim that immigrants are abusing the NHS is simply outlandish and ignores the net benefits which they have brought. In 2019 it was reported that over 13% of healthcare workers were non-British and 28.4% of doctors were also non-British. The NHS is currently suffering from a staff shortage which could be greatly lessened by increased immigration which the government has recognised and hopes to support through their planned NHS visa.
But what about non-NHS workers?
Even if one were to ignore to huge contribution immigrants make to the NHS, one would have to recognise that immigrants contribute far more in terms of finance to the NHS. All foreign nationals have to pay an annual immigration healthcare surcharge in addition to taxes which amount to £400 to support the NHS, and the government have considered raising this to £625.
3. Immigrants are to blame for the housing crisis
There is a general perception in the UK that immigrants come over to the UK and jump the queue on social housing, meaning that native Brits have less access to social housing, but is this really true?
The Oxford Migration Observatory reported that migrants are far more likely to rent private sector accommodation as opposed to social housing. The data gathered indicates that as of 2016, only 9% of social housing is taken up by non-British migrants and that close to 74% of migrants rented from the private sector.
Some economists have even made the case that immigration could lead to a reduction in house prices. To many, this appears counter-intuitive as it makes sense that if the demand for housing is inflated by migration, the prices will naturally increase. However, what this seems to ignore is the supply side.
According to the London School of Economics, the majority of the demand for housing is not caused by migration but rather a lack of social housing. This is in part caused because people are living longer, fewer people are getting married and living together, and perhaps most importantly, the government isn’t building social housing.
The Chartered Institute of Building has stated that were there to be a cap on immigration it would be detrimental to housebuilding rates as few British natives have the skills or interest in construction. Hence migration plays a positive role in creating more housing.
These are the three most often trotted out reasons for opposing migration, but as we have shown, three arguments are false and conceal a much more complex system. For a legal team that understands the complexities behind immigration call Westkin Associates.
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