Co-Editor of Naked Politics
The beauty of escalating supply is in the eye of the beholder. Buyers enjoy falling prices, while sellers receive less for their wares. This applies to all forms of economic input; goods, services, capital, and most crucially in answer to this particular question, labour. Wherever immigration levels contribute to working-age population growth, labour supply increases, and in the absence of a corresponding increase in demand, relative wages fall. Great for employers, not so much for employees! It is perhaps not surprising then, that the prospect of controlling immigration by leaving the EU, has been met by apocalyptic forecasts from big employers and their friends in both politics and the media. For them, the suppression of your wages is infinitely preferable to the suppression of their profits.
Lord Rose, leader of the ‘remain’ campaign, admits that “wages would increase if we leave the EU”, a view that was endorsed by a recent Bank of England report showing a definitive inverse relationship between immigration and wages, and adding that the effects are not evenly distributed. Disproportionate competition for semi and unskilled jobs leaves well-paid company directors relatively unaffected, and if anything, they benefit from the endless supply of cheap labour.
The corporate elite may urge you to vote against your own best interests, but surely the Labour Party is looking out for us hard-working Brits? Sadly, not. It seems that the pro-EU Blairites have managed to beat the pro-democracy scruples out of Jeremy Corbyn by showing him that the only way to displace the Tories in 2020 is to support their folly in importing vast numbers of low-income voters. As strange as these bed-fellows may be, this particular combination of corporatists and career politicians is creating a poisonous sense of them-and-us between “the establishment” and “the people”.
The default ‘divide and conquer’ strategy has been faithfully employed. Apparently, anyone with the temerity to raise the issue as a legitimate concern is a pitch-fork wielding racist. A faltering tactic, now that half of the nation (51%+ hopefully!) have opened their eyes to the problem, and a particularly galling accusation considering the fact that leaving the EU would actually allow us to reject the existing discrimination against non-EU citizens. Under the proposed Australian-style points system, having blond hair and blue eyes adds nothing to the score! This problem is about numbers, not race. So perhaps it is possible to both embrace multiculturalism AND own a calculator?!
There is no doubt that targeted immigration, that improves productivity by filling skills gaps, is positive. You can have too much of a good thing though. At social occasions, a few drinks aid merriment, too many leads to regret, and even more can be fatal. As the most densely populated country in Europe, England would fail the sobriety test. Every year, enough people to fill a city the size of Manchester flee the ailing Eurozone, where the average rate of unemployment is over 10% and youth unemployment is as high as 50%. Since the turn of the millennium, 85% of this population growth is the result of immigration, with 80% of newly created jobs taken up by immigrants. We seem to have entered the Jager bomb phase after losing all ability to say “no!”.
Unfortunately, we don’t have an infinite supply of jobs to meet the runaway demand. Having sub-contracted our border controls to countries that take our money without actually providing the service, we are unable to stem the flow, and the surplus is forced to join the swathes of indigenous welfare dependents. Add this to the mounting pressure on public services, housing and infrastructure, and working people are not only earning less, but they’re also carrying a higher tax burden – £1.2Bn net per year (ONS).
Those that wish to maintain the discrimination against Nigerians, Australians, Indians…etc., dismiss the inequity on the basis that the EU insists on external tariffs for goods, services and capital, so it stands to reason that free movement should only apply to EU citizens. There are significant differences between those ‘four freedoms’ though. The first three are highly regulated and required to satisfy a UK-based demand. Nobody is forced to buy an Audi or use AXA insurance. We choose to. Conversely, there are no controls or regulations relating to ‘people’. No skills required, no ability to speak English, no qualifications and a criminal record is absolutely fine. Most significantly of all, they are self-selecting, and as such, need not offer any form of benefit to their new country. Like so many other issues, the EU has this wrong; but they are unwilling to change. So the only sensible course of action is to Vote Leave on 23rd June.