24 January 2014
Nigel Mills, a Tory MP who pressured the government into announcing restrictions on benefits claimed by EU migrants last year, has appealed for the Immigration Bill to be made even tougher.
Mills said that due to the fact that Romania and Bulgaria has not implemented a series of commitments that were agreed on under the terms of EU accession treaties; the restrictions comprised in the new Immigration Bill should be put into practice until 2018.
He is gaining popularity among Tory MPs who support these radical views and who continue to peddle the myth that the UK is under threat of foreign invasion. His popularity is considered to be due to the fact that Tory MPs are afraid that if David Cameron does not manage to bring down levels of migrations the Party will lose popularity and not get re-elected.
Some of that support came from Amber Valley MP, who agreed with Mr Mills’ proposals and said they are much-needed steps that should be taken on migration. She also pointed out that restricting migrant benefits and forcing them to pay for healthcare are very welcome measures that are in the British interest and ‘absolutely right’, backing up her views by re-spinning the increasingly tired myth that immigration reduces employment opportunities for British-born workers.
The IER believes that these measures are unnecessary[,] as migrants with key skills will be beneficial to the country and its economy. Unlike the ideological rantings of the right-wing, this position is evidence-based, with recent statistics demonstrating that the ‘migrant invasion’ and ‘benefit tourism’ are both myths. The government has been accused of misleading people regarding migration figures and the number of which claim benefits.
A recent YouGov survey showed that people are under the impression that half a million migrants are currently in the UK claiming benefits, whilst the real number of migrants is 60,000, of which only 3% claim benefits. Not only do the public seem to be misinformed regarding the true picture, but the IER believes that migration could be beneficial to the country.
It is time the left began to raise their voices on immigration by providing the nation with the true circumstances surrounding immigration, and the issues that are associated with it. In our new publication Labour migration in hard times: Reforming labour market regulation? Academic and legal specialists discuss the effects of immigration and the potential for progressive reform to reduce the exploitation of migrant workers and the resulting deleterious effects on the UK labour market.