A few days ago the Government for the first time ever released figures relating to the number of foreign born people who are currently claiming working age benefits in the UK.
It's own headline figure of 371,000 soon became headline news in all the Tory Press
370,000 MIGRANTS ON THE DOLE
said the Telegraph who added:
"The migrants, who can claim unemployment, housing and incapacity benefit, are costing taxpayers billions of pounds a year."
NON EU IMMIGRANT BENEFIT SCANDAL
screamed the SUN and told us in a follow up story that:
"FURY erupted last week over the news that we are paying dole to 371,000 foreigners."
The Daily Mail not wanting to be upstaged by its red top fellow bigots went even further
THE FOREIGNERS BEING PAID £2 BILLION IN BENEFITS A YEAR INCLUDING 371,000 ON THE DOLE
and then let Tory Employment Minister Chris Grayling rant on for them when he said:
|Conservative general election poster 2010 Romford|
"It is not acceptable that people from other countries can claim our benefits if they have not worked or paid tax in the UK. We will root out those claimants who cannot prove their immigration status and in turn they will be stripped of their benefits.
Forgive me if I don't go on to give extra blog space to some of the more rabid and reactionary comments on the web from the usual suspects responding to the Governments carefully crafted press release, but I am sure you get the picture ""bleeding immigrants coming over here, taking our jobs, the food off our table. they're taking the piss, taking advantage of hard working British folk, claiming this, claiming that, living in big houses rent free when young British couples can't even rent a flat from the council..........you get the picture I am sure.
But hang on a minute what was Chris Grayling saying about people from other countries? and those who have not worked or paid benefits in the UK?
You see it turns out that about 54% of those "foreigners" Chris Grayling is ranting on about are actually British Citizens! and most of whom have worked and paid tax here in the UK. A further 29% it seems have been given indefinite leave to remain in the UK, and others are people from the European economic union who are entitled to claim whilst working in the UK. That's right working! because despite the smokescreen a large amount of the 371,000 above are working but receiving "Top Up" benefits to subsidise the low pay of unscrupulous employers.
So just how many of those 371,000 are actually foreign migrants illegally claiming benefits and left amongst Chris Graylings targets for rooting out? er.... just under 2500! it seems, hardly the headline we were fed is it?
In fact the deeper you dig into the figures the worse it gets for the Government Of the 5.5 million people of working age in Britain who are currently claiming benefits, yes 371,000 are foreign-born, which equates to 6.4 per cent of the total number of people on benefits. That means 6.6 per cent of working age non-UK nationals currently get a state handout, as opposed to a massive 16.6 per cent of British nationals. And not only do less foreign born claim benefits from the state but they also pay more taxes to keep the 16.6 per cent of Brit's in the life style they have become accustomed to.
The ONF data goes hand in hand with Home Office research published in 2002 to assess that people do not arrive in the UK hoping to exploit the welfare state. This research found that immigrants pay more tax that they take in benefits, which was partly explained by the age structure of the immigrant population, which is disproportionately of working age and therefore consuming less state-provided services and paying more taxes.
Furthermore, the UK isn't exactly the welfare paradise for immigrants that some newspapers seem to refer to. Asylum seekers for example are not allowed to claim normal welfare and live on a paltry amount below that which the Government states is the minimum necessary for UK benefit claimants to be able to live. Many live in destitution, sometimes homeless, especially those who are appealing their case. The Refugee Council states that, “most asylum seekers are living in poverty and experience poor health and hunger.
So what therefore lies behind this official government press release and the predictable venom spat out by the right wing press to a nation wanting to believe that their current economic woes are all the work of Johnny Foreigner"?
The answer? RACISM, PURE AND UNADULTERATED.
|Conservative General Election poster 1964 Smethick|
It may be less up front than this poster left from the 1964 General Election, but this Tory leopard has obviously no intention of changing its spots
Tory governments in the past have played the race card as a smokescreen to their own internally created troubles and as always the media are only too eager to distribute racist and nationalist ideas such as blaming minorities and/or immigrants for unemployment, for so-called ‘benefit fraud’ and for the lack of resources like housing school places or hospital beds. It is easy to scapegoat vulnerable minorities and this official government endorsed racism ultimately sends signals out that foreign people are fair game for wider abuse from the public.
But Hate Crime is Hate crime in my view no matter who the perpetrator and I only hope that some of the British Citizens amongst the 371,000 affected above takes on Mr Grayling and his despotic government and makes a complaint to the Police
The CPS views this type of crime very seriously and say that "it has a real and lasting effect on individuals, communities and the whole of society. By letting people know what they can expect from the CPS when we prosecute racist or religious crime, we aim to improve confidence in the criminal justice system."
"Racist and religious crime is particularly hurtful to victims as they are being targeted solely because of their personal identity, their actual or perceived racial or ethnic origin or their actual or perceived belief or faith. Black and minority ethnic victims can also be targeted because they belong to other minority groups and may experience multiple discrimination."
This shoddy coalition government including the Lib Dem's who are backing them up in Parliament, and staying noticeably silent on issues such as this above should hang their collective heads in shame.