Monday, January 15, 2007

IND Scandal

Another scandal concerns the Immigration and Nationality Department who are answerable to, yes you guessed it, the Home Office.

I was told nearly a year ago that the IND have paid out vast sums of money to Asylum Seekers and the lawyers who lodged spurious compensation claims against it.

Keen to find out if this could be true a tabled a question on the matter last June. After some fudging I was told in October that a Minister would write to me soon.

Needless to say I never heard another thing.

The House of Commons library rang and asked for the statistics but were told they could not have them so in December I submitted a Freedom of Information request which has not even been acknowledged.

I shall update readers on my progress.

New Home Office blunder

It would be easy enough to regurgitate the news of the latest Home Office scandal brought to you by the government who were going to be tough on crime etc. Instead I shall draw attention to some more scandals which have not yet come to light.

The hundreds of escaped prisoners who the Home Office can't find (last week's scandal)are not living out in wilds like nineteenth century Australian outlaws. I predict that most are back in their old haunts claiming the full range of benefits which the government makes available to those who don’t wish to work. How could this be you ask? Surely when National Insurance numbers are handed over by someone seeking benefits a check is done to ensure that they have not escaped from prison?

At the very least the authorities would have thought of checking the NI numbers of escaped convicts to see if any had re-entered the system as benefits claimants wouldn’t they?

I have written to Ministers to ask this obvious question. I believe the answer is that checks are not made.

Stand by for headlines about a captured prison escapee who was found to be openly living at his old address and claiming a wide range of benefits whilst doing so.

More law and order blunders on the next blog.
An amusing story reached my ears today. Last Saturday the Conservative Party in Wales held a conference at the Metropole Hotel in Llandridnod Wells in Mid-Wales. Delegates arriving at the hotel were greeted with a sign welcoming members of the Conservative Party and the “Chopper club.” It transpired that a motorcycle gang had also booked an event in the hotel for the same day.

I am told that this led to some unlikely scenes in the bar in the early hours with leather clad bikers and besuited Conservative activists putting the world to rights over a few ales.

Thursday, January 04, 2007

Happy New Year Happy New Arrivals....

I have just returned from two weeks with the in-laws in Hungary where we all had a good laugh at claims that Romanians and Bulgarians won’t want to flock to Britain. £300 per month is a typical wage in Hungary or Poland for a young person so it's not surprising that Poles and Hungarians have flocked to the UK in their tens of thousands.

However the standard of living in Hungary and Poland, although lower than the UK is far high than in Romania or Bulgaria. The Romanians have been pouring into Hungary for years looking for a better standard of living which is why we all laughed at the suggestion from the UK government that they won’t want to travel further West. Contrary to what the government thinks we can expect many thousands to come to the UK.

The CBI is pleased. Their spokesman made two points. Firstly that the vast influx of low paid workers doing menial jobs is keeping down inflation. This is certainly true. Wages are kept low therefore keeping production costs lower. No doubt this is a very good thing for the CBI. She also said that "Their (migrants) taxes help pay for our public services and our pensions, long after many migrants have returned home"

This is patently ridiculous. Every individual to some extent places a burden on the state. We use the NHS, our children have to be educated, we make use of roads, litter collection services and a range of other services which are paid for by the state out of taxes. To contribute so much in taxation that you make a net contribution to state finances "long after (you) have returned home" would only be possible if you were earning an enormous sum of money. Far more than the £5-£6 per hour the average Eastern European barman is likely to be on.

The plane from Hungary was full and Romanian accents were much in evidence so presumably the rush to get to Britain has already started.