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Saturday, May 14, 2016

Tackling the immigration myths

So many people have told me that they want to leave the EU because of the immigration issue that I thought it is worth reproducing this article in the Independent from a few days ago.

The paper says that a report, by the London School of Economics, has found that wage variations for British workers have little correlation to immigration rates and are instead primarily linked to overriding economic factors such as the global economic crisis. The report’s authors also state that rather than being a burden on resources, immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in public services and play a vital role in reducing the budget deficit:

The 9 biggest myths debunked by the research are:

1) EU immigrants come to the UK to claim benefits - They are less likely to claim benefits than British born citizens are

2) EU immigrants are a drain on the economy - They are more likely to create jobs by using local shops and other services, which increases demand for goods and services, in turn creating more employment opportunities

3) EU immigrants are responsible for high unemployment rates - areas with high immigration do not have higher rates of unemployed British people than other areas with less immigration

4) Wage drops are due to EU immigration - The biggest cause of recent reduction in real wage value has been the global economic crisis and shows no relationship with immigration.

5) EU immigrants are a drain on public services like hospitals and schools - They contribute more in tax than they use in public services

6) Staying in the EU means there is a risk the refugee crisis will spread to the UK - Refugees living in other EU countries, such as Germany, have no right to enter the UK

7) EU immigrants are uneducated and unskilled - On average they have higher education attainment levels than British born citizens do

8) EU immigration brings crime to the UK - There is no evidence that crime levels increase in line with the number of immigrants living in an area

9) Leaving the EU would stop immigration - Any countries accessing the Single Market must allow free movement of EU citizens whether in the EU or not

There is nothing to fear from staying within the EU. In fact immigration strengthens our economy and benefits society.
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