Letters to the editor for 8 May 2013

Cost of migration

[Re: Business chiefs: UK gains from migrants, yesterday]

Perhaps business has gained from EU migration, but financially UK society has not. Roland Rudd argues that migrants from new member states added £5bn to the economy between 2004 and 2009, and that they paid around a third more in taxes than they received in benefits. But 500,000 non-Britons arrived in 2004 alone as a result of Labour’s open door policy. And according to the Office for National Statistics, 536,000 arrived in the year ending March 2012. The arrivals may provide skilled labour for Rudd’s members, but they do not cover their true costs. Business has externalised those to the UK taxpayer in the form of tax credits, housing pressures and provision for the ensuing baby boom. England’s primary school intake is set to grow by 18 per cent over the next eight years. New school places will cost the UK taxpayer an additional £4bn over the next four years to create 450,000 additional places. Londoners must now list six schools in the hope of gaining a place, and the capital needs 90,000 places to cope with the crisis. Demographics give the lie to this business bargain.

Chris McLaughlin

I’m glad Rudd is standing up for immigrants. Too many see them as scroungers, when they actually subsidise welfare for Brits. Migrants impose less than proportionate costs on the health and education system.
Alicia R



I wonder if Lord Lawson is the tip of the iceberg, with Tory figures now willing to declare publicly their desire to leave the EU.

Good for Lord Lawson. The EU is a manifestation of the flawed political economy which created this crisis.

Inevitably, the BBC covers Lawson’s anti-EU article in terms of “Tory splits” etc. No discussion of the substance.

Ukip is now odds-on favourite to win the most votes in the European Elections in 2014.