Report fuels UK immigration debate
Apr 01, 2008 07:55 AM
THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
LONDON – Record levels of immigration to Britain have brought little or no economic benefit, a House of Lords report published Tuesday said, disputing the government's claims that immigration is good for the economy.
The Economic Affairs Committee called for new limits on the number of people allowed to enter Britain, where immigration has grown at an unprecedented rate in recent years.
"Looking to the future, if you have got that increase in numbers and you haven't got any economic benefit from it, you have got to ask yourself: Is this a wise thing to do?" said the committee's chairman, Lord John Wakeham.
The government, however, says immigrants' contributions to Britain have been positive. The Home Office says they help power Britain's economy, contributing $12 billion in 2006, according to the latest figures.
The government may correctly claim that immigrants contributed $12 billion to Britain's economy in 2006 but absent the costs of supporting an immigration system that figure doesn't mean much. If immigrants contributed $12 billion to Britain's economy but it cost $13 billion to bring them here you can see how that first figure now means nothing but in fact reveals how hurtful the immigration system is and I gather this is what the House of Lord's report is saying. It stated that immigration to Britain is bringing little or no economic benefit to the nation and needs to be reexamined and Canada needs to do the same. Our country is not dissimilar to the United Kingdom regarding immigration matters. We attract the same people from the same countries at almost the same levels per capita (Canada accepts more in this aspect the highest in the world in fact). However to this date Canada has not published the costs of running it's immigration system so estimates have to suffice and those numbers are in the billions of dollars. If it is true that mass immigration to Britain has not netted the economic gains it was supposed to then assuming that that tale is playing here in Canada would not be far fetched.
The House of Lords report suggests reforming the system by reducing Britain's immigrant intake and curtailing the family sponsorship program. I agree and Canada should do the same.