by Mike Newland.
The standard immigration myth tells us about hard-working highly-skilled people contributing to Britain. Every other aspect is largely ignored. Benefits, schooling and health care costs, let alone the huge costs of supporting people who no longer work.
Of course, the standard claim is that all those things are met out of taxes paid while working. The reality is that the low-skilled low-paid people we have mostly imported at the expense of our own unemployed pay little if any tax. In fact the process has lowered wages helpfully reducing the tax take.
We now learn from an EU report that there are growing towards three-quarters of a million European immigrants living in Britain who are not working. Since you may be sure an EU report will downplay anything unfavourable to the magic programme probably more.
The cost to the NHS alone is £1.5bn. Well, as the old US joke goes, a billion here a billion there and soon you are talking real money. The comparable cost to France is £3.4 million.
Why is Britain such a magnet? The essence of it is because our welfare system is not based on contributions like those in other countries. You can’t mostly just walk in and get elsewhere.
When the plan for the welfare state was formulated during WWII, Sir William Beveridge intended it to be an insurance system based on contributions. Little by little, that principle was abandoned and it became free of charge and now embracing just about anyone who walks past Britain’s minimal border controls without a penny.
The EU government is currently busy trying to make the full range of benefits available to anyone from the EU by court action against the Government. Ian Duncan Smith thinks this might cost us a mere £2bn more. Still not real money of course – just a footnote in the accounts.
When the plan for the welfare state was published during the dark days of 1942 people queued all night outside the Stationery Office to obtain their copy. Beveridge became a superstar. Churchill had sponsored Beveridge, for reasons of national morale, to uplift the public’s thoughts from the nightmare they were living through onto a better post-war world. But, when Churchill saw the finished plan, he thought it too expensive. It was not published as a Government document as originally intended.
What was a noble scheme to provide decent living conditions when originally designed has turned into something to strangle us.
Churchill’s judgement about the eventual costs has turned out be correct in circumstances never envisaged by anyone at the time.