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.


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