I’ve just been sent the November newsletter from the Social Market Foundation, which includes a very interesting essay by Conservative moderate John Bercow.
Aside from the cultural benefits of a multiracial society, there is a powerful economic case for immigration. Put simply, immigrants are incoming assets for at least three reasons. First, in a global economy, their labour is vital both to tackle severe skills shortages and to fill long term vacancies. Immigrants are not taking jobs that British workers could fill, but jobs which British workers are unable or unwilling to do. Second, the idea that immigration is an intolerable burden on the taxpayer and the welfare state is baloney. Immigrants give far more than they take. It is estimated that they make a net contribution to the economy of £2.5 billion, account for over 10% of the income tax take, and are disproportionately employed in the public services. Third, as our population shrinks and ages, immigration is vital to staving off a pensions crisis.
In the same publication, SMF Director Ann Rossiter talks about improving public services, and how to pay for them:
… polls show that people are willing to pay more for services they value. However … when it comes to election time, the public tend to vote with their pockets.
One of these days, a politician needs to stand up and call the public a bunch of selfish bastards…