Thoughts from an active pensioner who is now somewhat past his Biblical "Use-by date"

"Why just be difficult, when with a little more effort you can be bloody impossible?"

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Foreign Aid and Refugees

We have had huge numbers of 'refugees' and 'asylum seekers' entering this country in the past few years. I use the inverted commas because I believe that few truly fit into either category and that the majority are economic migrants simply seeking a better life in this country. Cameron's one sensible move in this respect was to say that any quota of refugees that we accept must come directly from the refugee camps in the Middle East, in Jordan or in Lebanon. At least that way there is a better chance that they are genuine refugees.

The question which then needs to be asked is how the country is to pay the costs of these new arrivals. Information from Germany seems to indicate that in spite of claims made by many left wing commentators that these refugees are largely from the educated middle classes, practical experience shows that the majority are poorly educated and that many can't read and write. Hence the assumptions that they will be able to work in other than basic labouring type jobs is clearly incorrect.

So where does Foreign Aid come into the picture? I would argue that all the costs attributable to these refugees should be considered to be part of the Foreign Aid budget until such a time as the families become self supporting and taxpayers. It is just as much foreign aid supplying them with housing, benefits, education and medical facilities here in the UK as it would be if we spent the money in their countries of origin providing such facilities.

You have only to look at the huge numbers involved.
Take for example the Somali Community in this country. According to the ONS it has a collective unemployment rate of some 82%; the latest government figures, if you believe them, suggest there are some 104,000 Somalis in this country. Think of the cost; the job seekers allowance can be as much as £72 per week which will cost some £300 million, without taking into account child benefits and their housing costs. Add to that the costs of health, through the NHS, and education, through local councils, both of which will be, per capita, considerably higher than for British born residents and the the totals become unquantifiable, largely because no-one in government wants to do the calculation! Informed guesses suggest the overall cost of just this one community is probably in the region of £1.5 billion p.a.

Then we come to the 'Asian' community as it is called in media speak. Comprising essentially those from Pakistan and Bangladesh (countries which are not normally mentioned by name), there are considerably more in this Asian Community than in the Somali Community. It is said that the unemployment rate amongst non-UK born ethnic 'Asians' is again of a similar order and of those who are working, many are are collecting in-work benefits. No doubt these include the woman standing outside our local Waitrose 'selling' the Big Issue, although I've never actually seen anyone buy a copy. But presumably she claims to be working! I hesitate to even guess a figure for this group, but I would suggest is it several times as much as the Somali Community mentioned above.

To these must be added all the immigrants from places like Nigeria, Tunisia and other African countries as well as the Syrians and Turks. Whether we should count in addition all the East Europeans, particularly those from Romania and Bulgaria is arguable as they are from within the EU and should have been expected by the government when they agreed to allow freedom of movement!

The overseas aid budget is now set to rise to £16 billion per annum and if you try to do the maths, it seems reasonable that you might conclude that it would just about cover the cost of all these economic migrants arriving in this country. So at present we are paying, not only for foreign aid abroad, but also a similar sum in aid to support the ever rising tide of immigrants. I would suggest that this is not an amount that we can afford without significant cuts elsewhere or general tax increases.

It is interesting to note from 'The Local' that Germany is expecting to spend €17 billion (£12.7 billion) on refugees in 2016, double the figure for this year.

And don't get me onto our extra security and policing costs brought about by potential terrorists and other criminals hiding amongst these immigrants; Germany believes that probably one in sixty of the arrivals could be a terrorist. That, of course, is without our own home grown terrorists, two of whom were convicted today for planning a major suicide bombing in London.

I despair for the future of this country.

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