24 March 2013

'They come over here and nick all our houses!' - Really?

Today's Sunday Express takes a break from gloomy weather portents (for once, right this week!) or contradictory reports on the beneficial/harmful effects of statins to return to an old favourite topic - immigrants.
These headlines presage a speech to be given by David Cameron on Monday when he will reassure the nation that no longer will newcomers to our country be able to jump the social housing queue.

The Mail on Sunday also flags up the PM's speech:

But just how much truth is there in the story that immigrants get preferential treatment by councils when housing is allocated?

From what I can find out, not much - if any!
Mythbuster: Immigration - the Real Story - Red Pepper December 2012

More evidence can be found in the links below, although most are from 2009:
Report - Social Housing Allocation and Immigrant Communities - EHRC - 2009
Queue-jumping Immigrants are a Myth, Says Study - Independent June 2009
Housing 'Not Favouring Migrants' - BBC News July 2009
New Immigrants Occupy Just Two Per Cent of Socila Housing - Report - Evening Standard July 2009

The Express and other tabloids have long been exaggerating the impact of the immigrant population on public services housing, jobs and welfare:
A visit to the Full Fact website and a quick search under 'immigrants' takes you to a far more well-informed source of the truth!

The leaders of all three major political parties are vying with each other to appear tough on immigration. This is partly because of the apparent surge in popularity of UKIP who never flinch in their attacks on the EU or immigration.
An example of UKIP's propaganda:
(Image via Political Scrapbook)

That 29 million is more than the combined populations of both countries!

Are our politicians, in their eagerness to impress potential voters by introducing stricter curbs on the rights (or perceived rights) of people wanting to settle in the UK, not in grave danger of merely fuelling false impressions, encouraging ever greater division and hatred?

There are other voices being raised, however:
From today's Observer
Immigration Fears are Being Stoked by Politicians, Says Bishop - Observer