Posted by: secretperson | February 20, 2008

Taxing Immigrants

Well increasing the cost of a visa anyway. A new plan from Jacqui Smith to sound tough on immigration. And try to silence critics of mass immigration who point out the strain on services provided by the young children and old relatives of all the immigrants ‘doing the jobs British people won’t do’.

The problem is not just with overall funds though, it is with their distribution. Mass migration, whether internal or external provides problems because most funds for councils come from central government. And government figures on the number of people in towns like Slough are wrong. This means getting less money to deal with more people. It just happens that most of this mass migration is from Eastern Europe.One reason the government figures are so bad is the pace of change. But they are consistently bad on issues relating to immigration. It seems to me that they have no control over our borders, EU rights mean Eastern Europeans can settle without checks, and people are unhappy about this.

Now the left, despite the obvious problems of overcrowding and pressure on public services caused by local population increase is so scared of looking racist it tries to ignore these concerns and has no incentive to get these figures right. Because they show how incompetent they really are. Better to do what Liam Byrne does in the Guardian and go on about “the benefits migration has delivered for Britain”. Well how much better it might be if it was controlled to meet the skills needs of the country. If the change was gradual so immigrants had time to adapt without facing hostility. If it didn’t rely on an ever increasing population, which clearly cannot continue indefinitely. A Guardian Comment is Free comment, a long time ago got it right when (I think he writes as Mr Pike Bishop) replying to the oft repeated assertion – we need immigrants to provide pensions for our aging population – “the worlds’ biggest pyramid scheme”!

Now here’s a solution. Not to immigration but to dealing with its effects in local communities. If the government gave over more control of taxes and finance to local areas the problems would solve themselves. Communities inundated with new arrivals would have available all the tax these new people would be paying. The tax would automatically follow the problem, rather than being inefficiently siphoned off through Westminster, only to be re-assigned to areas based on inaccurate statistics and Party political bias.

After all we are always being told how immigrants add to the economy, pay more tax than they claim in benefits and work really hard. So there should only be problems if they’ve been lying to us.

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