Friday 7 March 2014

Immigration and Rachel Reeves

Consultant in Acute Medicine

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Consultant Acute Medicine

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Immigration was a big topic on question time. 
Barking is a very mixed area. Immigration  has been a big issue. Barking and Dagenham were in the BNP camp in 2009. Its a low skills, poor education C2's, Ds & Es' area. And tensions are often high.

Rachel Reeves of labour gave her stock immigration answer. I've heard her say the same lines a few times before. It sounded credible the first time. Its obviously a well rehearsed piece that has been learned off pat so the right phrases fall in the right order.

There's a bit about 'Labour got it wrong on immigration.' Not a big wrong you understand. A little wrong.  Like the Dome or the M4 bus lane. A bit costly and a bit of an inconvenience, but no real harm done.

Then she moves on to sorting out the problems.

1. Prosecuting firms who don't pay a minimum wage.
2. There has to be homes and school places and jobs for people
3. Jobs cannot be advertised overseas and not in this country.
4. Health and safety must be enforced. 
5. Private landlords letting their homes out to 10 people cannot be allowed. 

The problem here is she isn't addressing anything that exists in any meaningful way.
'Snoring' Rachel often likes to say only a handful of businesses have ever been prosecuted for paying under minimum wage. Well, that's because the vast majority of businesses do pay minimum wage. Because its the law, has been for 17 years and people know it. Costa Coffee or The Amazon Warehouse aren't paying people £1 an hour. They aren't paying immigrants less. Everyone joining gets the same. McDonald's aren't full of immigrants because they pay less. In fact they over pay. But they over pay Uk and foreign the same.

Health and Safety is a ludicrously over the top industry in this country. Even the smallest business will have the local authority pay them a visit to check if they are up to multinational level code. 
What more Health and Safety could be enforced? 

The landlord issue. Why is this even an issue? Miss Reeves is telling us that if we allow people to live in shared housing, they can afford to work for less. Like students. She infers that everyone will be forced back into some sort of tenement slum situation of yesteryear unless greedy landlords are stopped. That bit got a big round of applause.  People were smart enough to realise that that is how the working incomers are able to work for min wage and still send money home. But that's not why we have an immigration/employment issue. We have that issue because £1 is worth 4 zlotys or 8 Lev or 20 Rupees.

Homes and schools and jobs for all immigrants. How are you going to manage that? Its just words. Like saying everyone should have a swimming pool and a helicopter.  Be nice, but who is going to pay for it?

 Jobs advertised overseas is something that is an EU issue. 800,000 UK jobs are listed within the EU.the EURES website has the jobs. Miss Reeves doesn't explain how she could restrict the access to jobs to EU citizens without breaking EU laws. The Tories can't. When this story broke last year the minister simply said it was a firm's patriotic duty to advertise UK jobs in the UK and employ UK workers.  Because that is all that can be done. Under the European Treaty, all EU countries are obliged to share their job vacancies.

The fact is as it has been for years. Immigration from the EU cannot be controlled in any way at all. The vast, vast majority of immigrant workers are taking a job paid at the correct wage for the correct terms and conditions that is compliant with all relevant laws and regulations. Otherwise what is the NHS doing paying all its workers too little and putting them in danger? 

What Rachel recommends won't make much difference to anyone.
It certainly won't help the citizens of Barking resolve their problems.


James Higham said...

4. Health and safety must be enforced.

They just love that word "enforced".

Ryan said...

They make the right words come out of their mouths but they don't actually care.

They allowed millions of people into Britain, but didn't act to create millions more homes, millions more hospital places, millions more school places. They didn't do anything about this at all. They had time to at least react to events after they had set the wheels in motion, but didn't.

Of course it is as well they didn't spend more money on all these things because for some curious reason the vast benefit of having so many immigrants supporting UKPLC doesn't seem to result in more taxation paid into UKGOV coffers. Strange that isn't it?

Reality is we have a bunch of personality types in government, on both sides, that are more interested in their own personal prestige and TV opportunities than actually doing theiur job. Most of them aren't doing anything at all. We get the usual screwed up leadership types with their narcissistic personality disorder, undiluted by anybody that migt actually be capable.

Electro-Kevin said...

Not much point in saying anything really.

All major parties want it.

Anonymous said...

"The fact is as it has been for years. Immigration from the EU cannot be controlled in any way at all."

Thats assuming you accept the gov had the right to sign away our sovereignty on the issue in the first place, which I most certainly do not.
They are stripping this country of the ability to govern itself.
You might say they win elections, but most people dont vote as they know they're all the same.

Rich Tee said...

Reeves is my MP. I sent her a letter complaining about pension auto-enrolment a month ago and she still hasn't replied.

She is supposedly an expert on economics and pensions, so you would expect her to be really keen to demonstrate her expertise.

But even if I did get a reply it would probably be from one of her unpaid interns, the one from Harvard maybe.

Rich Tee said...

By the way, check out this article by Reeves at LabourList:

The truth slips out at the bottom where it says "Rachel Reeves is Shadow Secretary of State for Welfare and Pensions"

Roger Clague said...

You say

"£1 is worth 4 zlotys or 8 Lev or 20 Rupees"

The exchange rates are
£1 = 5 zloty
£1 = 2 lev
£1 = 100 rupee

Please explain what you mean by " is worth".

I think you mean British workers lose jobs because they are worth more to migrants.They save and send money home, where it buys more than here.

Can or should we tax migrants more, if the cost of living in their home country is low?

Electro-Kevin said...

As for the NHS jobs advertised and claims that the NHS would fail without immigration:

Didn't we train people to do these jobs better in our excellent training hospitals ? Where are they now ?

Australia ? New Zealand ?

Budgie said...

It is not just jobs and pay and houses, it's a question of how many people can actually fit into this country.

Bill Quango MP said...

The NHS is just an example. All companies take immigrants. The city has been full of commonwealth and European workers for ages. And retail and hospitality uses as many Eastern Europeans as they can get.
Because they are available and willing. No other reason.
It's not a conspiracy to keep UK workers out of jobs.

Roger. Yes that is what I meant. Exchange rate isn't the issue. It's buying power in the country.
A whie ago we posted east £6 buys in Bulgaria or Romania. Roughly working 10 minutes n UK is same as working 1 hour in national country.
So a crummy floor mopper job can earn 6 times salary for doing same job in UK. Even allowing or higher uk costs, every 10p saved is really 60p.
If a worker can save £1 on each hour they would be gaining £6 or £50 ish a day, £200 odd a week.

The thought was many of these migrants will return home when they have amassed enough cash to start their own business or buy their own apartment. No real way of knowing.

It's also why I don't believe raising minimum wage yo working wage will help very much. If a Croatian is motivated to come to UK for 6 x salary they will be ecstatic to come or 12 times salary.

Rich - she's a high flier. But then so was Caroline Flint. And hazel Blears. She doesn't sound very different to any of the others.

EK .. Not much point in saying anything. I fear so. We know we can't change the EU free movement. But it's wrong of politicians pretending that we can. Those audience members wanted an end o immigration. It isn't going to happen. Especially not in east London which has been semi ghetto for centuries.