Sunday, May 20, 2007

Margaret Hodge on immigration

Margaret Hodge MP for Barking and Industry Minister has a problem, and that is the BNP.

The problem is that people in a community have needs for things like housing. They feel, rightly or wrongly that they end up on the bottom of the list in favour of either asylum seekers or immigrants. This feeling is not without some justification either. For example the housing office in Slough is dealing with Eastern European migrants who are both children and pregnant.

Margaret Hodge's intervention in today's Observer calls for local people to be given priority. I could not agree more.

Firstly if a person wishes to immigrate here it must be on the basis that they will contribute before getting the benefits of living here. That means they must factor in the cost of private housing and schooling if they intend to bring a family. (Where there are reciprocal inter EU arrangements that should not apply). They should not be able to arrive and work on the basis that they can have subsidised housing that allows them to undercut the wages of people already here.

However what I find a little odd about this intervention is that in many places that is how it works already. You can't get on my local authorities housing list unless you have a local connection, as in family. It seems to work differently in Barking which is a gift to the BNP.

Without going off the deep end we do need to take a careful and critical look at immigration. It is not good just looking at the upsides of it, there are downsides as well and those need to be considered when making policy. It is not a completely win win deal.


Anonymous said...

Watched the news on tv last week and they tried to interview a 16yr old with two kids ,the only english she seemed to have was social,says it all
to me.

Benedict White said...

Anonymous, Yes I know. Without wishing to sound harsh, but the "social" is not for anyone who can make it here.