Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Quote of the day

” The market is not an invention of capitalism. It has existed for centuries. It is an invention of civilization.”

Mikhail Gorbachev

Is it really a myth that migrant workers do jobs UK workers wont?

According to the Telegraph a new report by Migrationwatch is claiming it is a myth that foreign workers are just doing work which UK workers don’t want, or filling newly-created jobs.

There is a suggestion that a generation of low-skilled British workers risks being ‘trapped’ in unemployment by record immigration.

They express concern that a combination of generous benefits and immigrant labour willing to work for low wages will create "an underclass of discouraged British workers."

A single person under 25, on the minimum wage of £193 pw is just £10 a day better off than if they were on the dole. A married person with two children is £30 pw better off than on the dole.

So what’s all this myth exploding nonsense then? The British worker would appear to be virtually as well off on the dole as doing these jobs. It is not surprising they don’t want to do the jobs. But it is still definitely a matter of them not being willing to do the jobs for the money.

It seems that Frank Field, the former Labour welfare reform minister interprets this as immigrant workers ‘trapping’ British-born people in unemployment, because the higher the level of immigration in an area, the ‘harder’ it is for the unemployed to come off Jobseeker's Allowance.

This is backwards logic at best. The state can hardly blame migrant workers for the fact that it pays such generous dole benefits that, by the time transport costs and the bother of getting up in the morning are taken into account, the recipients are unwilling to do jobs that would probably actually leave them worse off, while the more motivated migrant workers are willing to underbid them for work.

Surely the UK workers would be unwilling to work for these wages, doing these jobs in any case?

Is that not the reason why those jobs are available for the migrant workers to do in the first place - otherwise all these jobs would surely already be filled by British workers?

This situation primarily results from the level the Government sets it’s dole benefits at, combined with our membership of the EC.