Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Their Economic Lordships and Immigration

The Economic Affairs Committee of the House of Lords has published a report which has been hailed in some quarters as a refutation of the government's policy on immigration and a justification for limits on immigration.

However, before one rushes to the conclusion that an independent and disinterested body has passed judgment, one should examine the composition of the Committee. It is chaired by Tory Lord Wakeham, and includes such old Thatcherites as Lawson and Lamont. Indeed, I spotted only two non-Tory names. Lord Oakeshott, for all his otherwise Liberal qualities, is an investment banker, and the Labour peer Lord Paul, being an immigrant himself, may be subject to the "pull up the ladder, Jack" syndrome.

Their Lordships may be strictly correct in saying that "immigration has very small impacts on GDP per capita", but then there are few measurable economic benefits - apart from the small amounts of income tax paid - from working in care homes, or teaching, or driving buses, or the myriad other public service jobs which immigrants are filling.

The CBI, which is a practical organisation, criticised the report and said that "businesses needed the flexibility to recruit immigrants who formed a valuable part of the workforce". (Quoted in the Daily Telegraph)


Anonymous said...

While it would appear that the BNP are gaining ground in London; the timing of publication of this report can only help the BNP in their campaign - hasn't anyone in the upper chamber got an ounce of common sense?

G. Lewis
Sec., Bridgend Lib Dems

Frank H Little said...

It would help if the government collected accurate figures of the numbers of people coming in and going out of the UK.

Frank H Little said...

See Peter Black's blog for his take and the official party line.