Nick Boles wants a radical change to immigration policy

I was sent Nick Boles’s “Which Way’s Up” to review. The first couple of chapters was full of loyal support for the Coalition government, and discussion of how Lib Dems and Conservatives had a lot in common. It seemed unremarkable.

Then I came to passages on equality. He takes the argument often used by the left that societies like Sweden and Japan are happier ones because they have greater income equality. He suggest instead that these societies are happier because they are more homogeneous, allowing far less inward migration than the UK has experienced in recent years.

Warming to his theme, he devotes a whole chapter to making a series of very radical and contentious proposals on immigration. His critique states that 70% of the new jobs have gone to workers born overseas since 1997. He says:

“We will not be able to sustain a social contract in which schooling and healthcare are provided to all citizens free of charge and are funded by taxation if we continue to allow, every year, hundreds of thousands of people from around the world to join the queues at A and E and send their children to British schools. Nor can we sit back while eight million British citizens of working age are either shun or shut out from all forms of useful economic activity because employers can find migrant workers who will accept subsistence wages to do menial jobs”

There is a raw edge and anger in his language, backed by figures higher than the official ones. His remedies are equally contentious:

“Britain needs a new immigration settlement, involving tighter controls on the number of people who can move into the UK every year (from both inside and outside the EU), greater selectiveness about who is allowed to settle here, tougher financial demands on new immigrants and those who want to employ them, more robust measures to remove those who break our laws, and more intensive efforts to ensure that all those who do settle in Britain adopt British values and become part of a truly united kingdom.”

So what does he propose?

1. A cap on the numbers of non EU migrants each year of up to 20,000 to 50,000 – putting a number on stated Coalition policy.
2. Requiring a surety deposit from all non EU migrants. This would be repaid after they had paid taxes here for a number of years, or forfeited if they committed an offence or lived here without paying income tax.
3. For EU migrants the UK should enforce the Directive which only requires a member state to allow free movement for the purpose of residence supported by work income or independent means. “Whenever a migrant from within the EU applies to a central or local government authority for benefits or housing or part of the NHS for non emergency healthcare, that authority should be required to check whether the individual in question has a job or sufficient funds to support themselves in the Uk. If they don’t, they should be told to leave the country…”
4. No-one should be eligible for social housing until they lived here for five years.

So what do you think of that? I am sure there will be some strong views out there on such radical proposals.


  1. P Haynes
    September 30, 2010

    All sounds fairly sensible but not as sensible as just leaving the EU and having free trade, self government and control of the borders.

    It is Interesting to note that new leader Ed in his speech was unable to say the word "immigration" oddly blaming "migration" for depressed the wages of workers then needless to say going on to blame bad "employers" for this by exploiting them. I assume he either wants employers either to discriminate illegally against them or perhaps he would prefer employers to pay more than the market rate for the work to all, thus loosing out to competitors, and ultimately going out of business. Perhaps he could clarify which he prefers.

    1. EJT
      September 30, 2010

      Immigration is movement across national boundaries. Maybe it is more correct to describe movement within the EU state as migration ?

  2. Boudicca
    September 30, 2010

    This is the minimum required. We should introduce a system of Guest Worker, like the Germans. Work Visas should be issued which do not lead to a right to settle here or obtain a British passport. Guest workers should not be allowed to import their families to be educated or treated at our expense.

    We should also be stopping the important of spouses from the 3rd world. We should tackle the issue of generational cousin-marriage amongst immigrants (words left out)and the dreadful consequences (alleged for some) children born to these parents. Why should the British taxpayer pick up the cost of caring for genetically damaged and/or severely disabled children when the communit(ies) which (are) responsible for producing so many of them continue with the 3rd world marriage practice which produces them.

  3. forthurst
    September 30, 2010

    The purpose of immigration all along has been to miscegenate the indigenous British out of existence. To assist this process, all sorts of explanations have been given over the years to justify this and all sorts of laws have been introduced to facilitate it and to intimidate the British into not complaining, and of course as we know, when someone of stature challenges this suicidal policy, such as Enoch Powell, they come under the most intensively vitriolic assault from the perpetrators of this policy.

    Para removed

    1. Stuart Fairney
      September 30, 2010

      (Words left out) Just who the hell is indigenous British? Must we trace our ancestry back to Alfred the Great, William the Conqueror (another imigrant), or maybe if we've been here for a couple of hundred years?

      Being British isn't about sharing DNA, it's about shared values, culture, yes supporting our cricket team, and being a tolerant, open society. Please don't mistake this as a weak plea for multiculturalism, it is certainly not, but being married to an immigrant myself, I cannot and do not accept that my son is not British and I am sorry to see anyone mouthing the vile, vile nonsense that you just spouted. (words left out)

    2. Iain
      September 30, 2010

      I believe it is more the case of divide and rule, this is after all how the British Empire managed things, but they don't seem to have learnt anything from the misguided policy, for everywhere they implemented the policy has at some point descended into (conflict), Fiji, Malaysia, Sri Lanka, Africa, etc.

      It is interesting to note the reasons they gave to justify this policy…. that the natives were lazy, idle, didn't want to do the jobs, didn't have the skills, sound familiar?

      Essentially the policy was to disposes the indigenous peoples of feeling they had ownership of their country, so remove objections to the commercial exploitation of their country, and so commercial interests could ship in a cheap compliant workforce to maximise their profits. This is just what is happening here right now, and just like the social (tensions) it caused in the colonies, so it is causing social (tensions) here. But the commercial interest for whom this policy was designed don’t care for they will have trouserd their gains and moved off somewhere else.

    3. Stuart Fairney
      October 1, 2010

      Since my last comment is stuck in moderation for some reason, lets try this. Can the author of the comment plus the eleven people who gave it a thumbs up please explain who is an indigenous Brit and who is not, who is to decide, what the criteria is and why my son is not apparently British bearing in mind I married his mother (shock, horror ~ an immigrant) some 13 years ago.

  4. Will J
    September 30, 2010

    If that's radical, no wonder we're in such a state.

    1. APL
      September 30, 2010

      Will J: "no wonder we're in such a state"

      The joke is, Redwood knows we can do none of these things, yet he still goes on and on about how Eurosceptic the Tory party and it's leader is, or dangles what appear to be jucy tid bits in front of the crowd, knowing full well it is just a charade.

      1. Restricting immigration to just that from the European Union won't work because the Spanish, Italian and Greek borders are as porous as a thing with a lot of holes in. Once in Spain, Italy or Greece, they are handed European citizenship and then head straight to the highest welfare state in the Union.

      Null points if you get that destination wrong.

      We have to control our own borders or we might as well give up being a Nation.

      Opps! I forgot, since Lisbon and Cameron's climb down over the Lisbon Referendum we have.

    2. john p
      September 30, 2010

      quite right

  5. Colin D.
    September 30, 2010

    They don't seem all that radical to me. They DO seem practical and non racist.
    The flaw is that they are focused on people who make some attempt to come here legally. What is missing is a policy on those who are already here illegally and those hell bent on getting here by whatever means. Unless these problems are effectively tackled – and known round the world to be effectively tackled – no one will be deterred and this country will still be flooded by immigrants.

  6. Mark
    September 30, 2010

    Sounds about right to me. Only in this country are we so brow-beaten by the left into believing that looking after our own first and foremost is morally wrong. Where is the "fairness" in requiring that "hardworking famillies" pay for treatment or housing or benefits for people who have not contributed to this country (well, apart from making it more "multicultural" clearly….*sigh*…).

    1. Robert Pay
      October 2, 2010

      and don't forget – welfare reliant citizens are more likely to vote Labour…one of the reasons nothing was done about this.

      let's be careful not to stop US bankers and Indian high tech execs coming here though…

    2. Alex
      October 4, 2010

      I am an immigrant and have been paying taxes and NI contribution since I came here 5 years ago. Certainly, I haven't got ANY penny of benefit since it is FORBIDDEN to apply for it if you are on a working or student visa. So, you want my money (this extra 5000 pounds in addition to those ~3000 pounds I've paid for visas) for the reason I'm an alien only. That is all. What is the point to discuss any "restricted public services" if you are merely hate aliens. I feel this hatred around me and my family in a couple of last years. Certainly, we are not going to live in the country which hates us. I guess you should be happy, one (words left out) immigrant (with family of 3. Hurray!) will leave the blessed country very soon. I'm looking for a position of professor of biology abroad now and we leave the country as soon as possible. No other contacts with Britain and Brits after that. Hope supporters of BNP will teach your children in universities better than me. (sentence left out)

  7. The big D
    September 30, 2010

    Very sensible suggestions, if they had been implemented 12 years ago.

  8. David B. Wildgoose
    September 30, 2010

    Fabulous. Shame it won't happen though – after all, BBC and Guardian readers would throw a fit and they're considered to be far more important than the ordinary working people of England, (which is where the immigration is happening).

  9. Andy
    September 30, 2010

    Immigration has caused such huge problems not just over the last 10+ years when it has been out of control, but over the past 50 years. Boles makes some interesting points and has some radical ideas. You can lay money on the fact that the left will scream blue murder !! The Left have turned immigration into an issue that cannot be mentioned. Across all of Europe it is a subject which has to be addressed whether the Left likes it or not.

  10. Jeremy Poynton
    September 30, 2010

    Reasonable, I would say, rather than radical. Sustainable, to use that current buzz word.

  11. Iain
    September 30, 2010

    1/ Agreed, we should not allow beatings from employers weaken the Governments policy.

    2/ It would be better to have a bond the immigrant has to buy, a bond returned to them on leaving the country, if they fail to leave in good time the bond is cashed in and the money used to fund the cost of removing them. Immigrants from countries where there is a great deal of overstaying would of course be made to pay a higher premium and so choke off people coming from that country.

    3/ If we can't get control of EU immigrants then that is better than nothing.

    4/ No one should be allowed social housing unless they are a citizen. Period.

  12. Iain
    September 30, 2010

    I would add..

    5/ The fine an employer pays for having employed an illegal should be raise to the level of the national average wage, for it is only around this level people stop being consumers of public services and begin to be contributors. Raising the fine to around £20-25k would mean that the cost of removing an illegal is more than covered, so it becomes a contributor to the tax base rather than a drain. They say it costs around £12k to remove an illegal, with 500k illegals that is a bill of £6billion. Raise the fine to 25k that would mean the state would turn in a £6.5 billion profit.

    Finnally the

    6/ the British state should have a population policy, the British state should have an idea what is a sustainable population, and seek to have policies to achieve that level. We cannot continue to have a liaise fare attitude to the number of people living here, not when we are told that global warming will make agriculture more marginal, not when we have a shortage of housing, not when energy supplies will become critical, and not when the burgeoning world population will make resources very short.

    1. Duyfken
      October 1, 2010

      Despite your imaginative use of the English language, I'm wholly in agreement with your views and particularly concur with the suggestion for a realistic population policy.

  13. FTAC Watch
    September 30, 2010

    Once again nobody addresses the issue of intra-company transfers (ICT) that account for 80% of non-EU workers coming to the UK. All of them are fraudulent as there is no shortage of skills whatsoever.

    It has destroyed the careers of tens of thousands of British IT professionals and severely reduced the income for those that remain in work. Youngsters are shunning IT courses because they see no future in the industry. Very serious long-term damage has been done to the UK by the abuse of this scheme.

    There is no chance that the coalition government will reverse the policy. Once business makes a few donations or ministers promised non-exec directorships, as was done with Labour, the whole issue will disappear without trace and unlimited imports will continue.

    1. GeoffH
      September 30, 2010


      In the days before Austria joined the EU, I was fortunate enough to enjoy a two-year assignment by my employer to Vienna.

      Other employees of my multinational company enjoyed similar work experiences in other countries and many others came to the UK.

      The process was mutually beneficial to all concerned and all countries concerned. And in no way did we 'destroy the careers of other British professionals" or the professionals of the countries UK workers were assigned to.

      1. simon
        October 1, 2010

        Geoffh , would you be happy if any of your children/grandchildren told you they were going to go into I.T. ?

        Do you view it as a good career choice ?

        FTAC Watch is not talking about a few individuals but a mass invasion of workers from overseas .

        The companies which petition the Govt for fast-track visa's for foreign I.T. workers to work over here have no intention of ever employing Britains .

        They claim they need migrant labour because of a perceived skills shortage and government rolls over every time .

        Since most of the development has been offshored , all that we have left here is customer and user liason and now they are coming for that .

        These migrant workers are paying absolutely no tax here , repeat no tax here even though they work here for years and spend virtually nothing either as they live in shared houses provided by their employers .

  14. Daedalus
    September 30, 2010

    At last someone making some sort of sense. With regards to getting offenders out of the country they should be doing that now; no matter how long they have lived here. If the offense warrants a suspended or prison sentence off home they go, even if it is to Somalia, Afghanistan or similar. Those Afghan hijackers should be back there now.

  15. Mike Stallard
    September 30, 2010

    I am a Catholic and at our Church, there are a lot of immigrants. Some of them are my friends. In a couple of hours, I am going to teach a small group of them and I am looking forward to it too. That is where I am coming from.
    I hate to see drunk, broke, robbed people of any country appearing at the door of our Church Hall begging to be sent home.
    Having said that, let me look at this as an historian.
    How can it be possible for a tiny country, bursting at the seams with people of all different religions, races, cultures and languages – even the families are different – to exist at all as a unit? Especially if most of the people aren't paying into the support of an over generous and slovenly welfare state?
    Therefore with my head I am fully in support of the five proposals. With my heart, I shudder. It is us, you see, who pick up the pieces.

  16. Brigham
    September 30, 2010

    I like the idea of a surety. Let's make sure it is a big one, one that will produce a surplus for our treasury. As far as our indigenous population, I read, recently, a quote that took my fancy. "The best contraceptive would be to stop child benefits"

  17. purpleline
    September 30, 2010

    John, I believe he makes a very valid point , I would go further and re-negotiate the free movement of people in the EU.

    My idea would be to link migration to land mass and people per square mile. The UK is an island and has a finite area for people to live in harmony. Therefore Poland, France, Spain and Germany should be taking the majority of people who wish to move and settle in the EU.

    I would also drop the rules that allows a Polish worker to send back benefits to Poland. If this is required then our EU budget should be adjusted accordingly.

    1. John Page
      October 2, 2010

      Just how do you propose to renegotiate free movement in the EU?

  18. Ron
    September 30, 2010

    I could have written this myself and I have been saying this for years, but who listens? Free healthcare, freeschooling, free education and not paid a penny in? Along with child benefit and a mountain other benefits they can claim. There is absolutery no doubt in my mind that the 8.5 million people of working age are not working because of the immigration effect. It is easier to claim benefits than try and get a job that employers only want to fill with immigrants who will accept lower wages. Add to that with most jobs today already requiring a person to have the skills for the job(nobody wants to train any one today) plus you must have a crb check or some other check, most people simply can't be bothered.
    This country is not governable any more, the solutions are there, clear as mud but Europe, politicians and other social class reasons prevent these things from being sorted out. I can't wait so that I can go and work abroad and live the remainder of my years in a country that respects hard work and where you are not a drain on the country's resources and you don't have to pay for other peoples children that turn up from all over the world.

  19. Electro-Kevin
    September 30, 2010

    Why are those proposals 'radical' ?

    Have you not been listening to what you've been told on the doorsteps ?

    Ordinary people in this country have been betrayed and undermined by the whole political class for decades. A rule of thumb is that no politician can be taken seriously without an idea of the numbers involved – so that rules out all of them.

    It is most insulting to be told that 'we're all in this together' by rich and socially secure men when it's quite patently obvious that we're not.

    If you want to live in a country with a government that cares about it then emigrate – but rest assured any country worth moving to will be (quite sensibly) highly selective and may not let you in.

  20. Rob H
    September 30, 2010

    The real issue is the welfare state not immigration. His solution is to just prop up the welfare state which is the cause of so much (dare I say) "undesireable" migration, i.e. those migrating to claim.

    If the benefits system encouraged work rather than rewarded sloth and was more of a safety net than a hammock then would we really have a problem? NOONE (native or foreign) should be able to claim until they have paid in for 3 years.

    His comment about economic migrants taking work form Brits is also daft. Is the problem people migrating to claim or people migrating to work? I have far more in common with a hard working migrant than a lifestyle claimant Brit.

  21. John
    September 30, 2010

    The proposals should include a requirement from employers to pay 12 months' worth of NIC in advance for an immigrant employee to "buy them" into the welfare system and perhaps an enhanced NIC contribution rate for both employer and employee for the first two years of employment..

  22. English Pensioner
    September 30, 2010

    We just need a simple system whereby no-one who is not a citizen of this country is able to have any of the state provided benefits until they have been here for seven years and have a good work record and no criminal convictions. Let them come if they want, but follow the lead of Australia and America and offer only free emergency treatment in hospitals and no benefits of any kind.
    We have a National Health Service, not a World Health Service!
    And to argue that we can't manage without emigrants is fallacious. Historically, we've always managed, usually by innovation. To say we need skills from abroad merely shows the poor standard of our own education and that fact that companies find it cheaper to bring someone in than train their own staff. Things would soon change if they couldn't do this.

  23. norman
    September 30, 2010

    Immigration and a welfare state are incompatible. This is one of the tenets of libertarian thought and as we'll never abandon our welfare state nor can we (or should we) abandon immigration a solution such as this is the only option.

    Unfortunately the EU is the fly in the ointment hete. Our immigration policy is only as strpng as the weakest states.

  24. Stuart Turner
    September 30, 2010

    Very reasonable, I support all of those ideas. Since it is likely that the Lib Dems will resist such ideas do you think that a non party political movement such as 'the pledge' should be setup in order to promote these ideas and start a public debate?

  25. StevenL
    September 30, 2010

    Another elephant in the room is the birth rate of some immigrant communities. Mainstream parties dare not mention this, but anyone that can do a bit of maths can see that if couples are having 5 kids by the time they are 30 and they are wholely dependent on social housing and benefits that it will end in tears.

    The failure of mainstream parties to address these issue is pushing voters to the fringe of politics. Personally I'd favour a no additional benefits for more than 2 children policy.

    1. simon
      October 1, 2010

      And the other taboo that noone dares mention ; marrying first cousins (which some worry could lead ) to genetic abnormalities and birth defects .

  26. Liz
    September 30, 2010

    Immigration to a large extent cost Labour the last election – it could cost the Conservatives the next if, as looks increasingly likely, they do nothing meaningful to stem the flow. Even immigration from the EU is allowed to grow in a way that no other EU country will allow and they also manage to send back more illegals and criminals than we do. We cannot even police temporary student visas efficiently.

  27. Gavinthornbury
    September 30, 2010

    Income equality and homogeneity in a society are usually closely linked.

    If the poor look, talk and behave much like like the rich, with shared values and a shared culture, then they elicit far more sympathy and respect. And it is then far more difficult for the rich to self justify low taxes, tax avoidance, etc, because the poor no longer cannot be portrayed as alien "others". Instead they become people similar to oneself, who but for good fortune and the grace of god might well include oneself.

    In my opinion, in both the UK and USA, it is no coincidence that the reduction in the highest rates of taxation coincided with the beginning of mass non-European immigration.


    1. Simon
      October 1, 2010

      Interesting , sounds like the cart being put before the horse .

      Are you implying the super rich intentionally/subconciously engineered mass immigration to obscure the unjustifiably massive innequalities being perpetrated on their less fortunate British brothers and sisters ?

      1. Rose
        October 1, 2010

        I am inferring from what Gavin says that a homogeneous nation like Japan treats its subjects with geater dignity and there is more social stability, more inter–connectedness, and more social responsibility, when people are all brought up the same – manners, religion, diet, etc. – when these are shared in common, there is less likely to be child trafficking to claim benefits, and heartless night-time shift working for armies of cleaners who never come into contact with the people they are cleaning for. In Japan cleaning is not considered an "untouchable" job but a worthy and important one. It is done in full view of everyone during the day, by fellow Japanese men and women. What a contrast with the downtrodden immigrant forces travelling in ( words left out) at night to serve London. How many of them will be having their wages topped up in various ways by the taxpayer? Why not just pay our own people enough to do manual jobs and respect them? The cost would be much less in the end.

  28. OutoftheEU
    September 30, 2010

    You mean the Sweden that has just voted in a large majority of Swedish Democrats (anti immigration party) into power? Where Malmo frequently sees riots (words left out – and)no-go areas for even the Police?

    (Suggests ethnic groups under pressure or causing trouble)

    Politicans, including yourself are suffering from a mass delusion. You all live in this perfect little EU bubble.

    Look around the net at the videos and news stories being posted. Multiculturalism does not work (words left out), in any shape or form.

  29. Chris
    September 30, 2010

    Agree with most of it, but limiting movement within the EU isn’t possible.____Tighten up on benefits. How is it that a friend of mine who has lived in North America for 38 years, but kept a British Passport, because he couldn’t afford treatment for a heart condition at his home – flew over and had months of treatment on the NHS with no questions asked?__I would have thought that there would be enough people wandering about with clipboards to pick this up.____I mean good luck to him, but is this symptomatic of a bigger problem? __

  30. ralphmalph
    September 30, 2010

    Also every non EU student that comes here should be required to buy a health insurance policy (off a British insurance company) for the duration of there studies that is non refundable and should be presented as a pre-cursor to getting a visa to study.

    Study in America and you do not get free health care, does not harm there Universities.

  31. JohnM
    September 30, 2010

    I think that you need to rephrase the sentance….

    'His critique states that 70% of the new jobs have gone to workers born overseas since 1997.'

    …otherwise it would appear children of 13 years and under are being employed.

  32. Phil C
    September 30, 2010

    '… the Directive which only requires a member state to allow free movement for the purpose of residence supported by work income or independent means…'

    This infornmation has come as a total revelation!

    Since the major impediments to a controlled immigration policy were always our international obligations under EU membership, and the Conventions on Refugees and Human Rights, this is quite extraordinary. Until now, leaving the EU had seemed the only way of putting the brakes on the 'free movement of labour'.

    What is Cameron waiting for? This fits perfectly with a policy which restricts immigration to our economic needs, making a numerical cap an artificial contrivance with perverse consequences. It should also get Cable's support.

    Then all he has to do is get international agreement to an updated Refugee Convention and ameliorate the damaging interpretation of Human Rights as incorporated in English law, and immigration might become a credible government policy instead of a game of pass the parcel.

  33. Chris_sh
    September 30, 2010

    Enter text right here
    Same issue I always have when confronted with the "born outside UK" stat – I was born in Singapore as that is where my father was stationed, but I'll still be included in that 70% figure. Until someone does some research to exclude us forces brats, I'll treat the whole debate with suspicion.

  34. OurSally
    September 30, 2010

    Yes, yes, yes and yes. Start now, today.

    (sentence deleted)

  35. mike
    September 30, 2010

    As someone who works in the frontline for the government in the jobcentre administering jsa , esa , child benefit etc all i can say is that immigration is a big big problem over 90% of the claims i process are from immigrants which i can tell from thier lack of english and national insurance numbers.

  36. Dr Bernard Juby
    September 30, 2010

    I heartily agree with all that has been said. France is getting a lot of flack from the EU over its policy to expel the Romanian gypsies but Eric Besson, the French Immigration Minister, has said that it is perfectly within the EU Directive, 2004/38 for them to do so – stating that, “Moreover, in 2009 France expelled 88 Dutch people, 33 Britons, 63 Spaniards, 46 Germans and 47 Italians while England expelled 30 French in application of the same law.”

    Paragraph 10 of Directive 2004/38 states that such crossborder migrants, “should not be a burden on the social assistance system of the host Member State” and goes on to restrict any stay to a maximum of three months.

    If the UK adopted the same policy as its French counterpartsit could see a lot less people sponging on the State and less likely to want to go there in the first place.

    1. StevenL
      September 30, 2010

      We don't have many Romanian gyspies, mainly Irish travellers here, (what-ed) are you suggesting ?

      reply: I am suggesting nothing. EU ctiizens according to Mr Boles can stay if they meet the requirments of the Directive.

  37. David H
    September 30, 2010

    Well said, Nick Bowles – leave the EU as well and we will make a sensible start on saving the country!

  38. Tomasz Kornaszewski
    September 30, 2010

    A bit of disclosure – I am an immigrant. A recent one – only fife years in YOUR country.
    I think that you see real problem but diagnose its causes improperly. You see problems with sustaining your welfare based society and try to find fast and painless solution. Finding a scapegoat is always easiest and best to sell politically.
    I do not know exact numbers about welfare sysem "abuse", but have feeling that this "abuse" is done not only by immigrants – do you know how many of UK citizens are on benefits? What are real numbers? How big share of welfare is taken by non-citizens? Maybe you are right, maybe immigrants are evils causing all problems, but you did not show that using absolute measurements.

    I use word "abuse" like many political comentators but we should use here word – "use". Taking benefits in legal way cannot be named "abuse". If are cases of criminal activity in this field they should end in courts not as feed for political agenda.
    But all of us see that such system is no longer possible to sustain. Welfare state is simply wrong choice. But you do not address this problem strong enough. Talking about immigration only mask real problem, which is extensive welfare state.
    Is it normal to pay families for having children?
    is it normal to pay individuals for not working?
    is it normal to supply "free" or very cheap housing?
    is it normal to….
    It is absolutly demoralizing and damaging for society to have such system. But if you have it why you refuse to cover by it people whose only fault is that they came here recently? Even when they pay all required taxes?
    Liquidate welfare state for all and you will forgot about China and India as danger for you. You will not have a problem with national debt and immigration. Immigrants who will come here will be hard working and contributing to society.
    But if you will change system as proposed only effect, which you will get in longer term will be that immigrants will be more stronger, better educated, whealthier and more alienated from ordinary "citizens".
    And something from my own experience – most of my friends coming here never heard about your benefits and welfare system. All of them came to work hard and enjoy freedom. Gradually some of them were spoiled by system. They applied for benefits, council houses etc. But why blame them? Not taking those benefits set them badly handicapped. Almost all citizens take them.
    I wish to have situation in which I pay taxes for small administration, internal and external safety, essential infrastructure. Of course it means I would have to pay for schools, health care, retirement and other commodities. I want this. If you want to exclude me from welfare system – wery well. But exclude me also from paying for it.
    Good luck in reforming your country – but do it wisely.

  39. Paul P
    September 30, 2010

    This is one more reason why no free market classical Liberal could join the Conseravtives. The problems associated with immigration are solved through futher flexability, i.e. by allowing more houses to be built, by making immigration two way and allowing workers to leave the UK in times of recession and by allowing immigrants to integrate, rather than segregate them selves, such as through divisive state funded faith schools.

  40. A.Sedgwick
    September 30, 2010

    Sounds good to me.

    As with finance we have both an immigration debt and deficit. The flawed argument of net immigration needs to be addressed with illegal immigrants, bogus asylum seekers, foreign prisoners being repatriated with reduced negative net immigration for decades to come if not forever – we are full. The birth rate and life expectancy of the existing population will be taxing enough for all our services in years to come.

    If you want to emigrate to an English speaking country the restrictions are draconian and they make it virtually impossible for many who have had enough of this country and the way it has changed over recent decades to leave.
    We are the most dopey Western country giving access (to too many)

  41. Captain Peacock
    September 30, 2010

    We had 13 years of Liebour waffle about immigration now its the Tory party time to waffle. Saying non EU immigration as if EU immigration was not the problem. A while ago your leader was pushing for Turkey to join the EU, you could not make it up.
    Same policy as Liebour close one door open another.
    British people have no say in anything now thanks to MPs of all parties selling out the country.

    1. John Page
      October 2, 2010

      But Migrationwatch say:

      In fact, immigration from the other members of the EU 15 is almost in balance (the average of the last five years is only about 20,000 a year). We expect the same to happen to the new East European members (the A8) in the next few years; they will continue to arrive, albeit in smaller numbers, but will be counterbalanced by departures. The provisional 2009 immigration statistics show that net immigration from these countries was already down to 5,000 in that year.

      1. Alan Jutson
        October 3, 2010

        John Page

        The problem is not just the numbers.

        Most of those who leave take money and wealth with them.
        Most of those who arrive (agreed not all) are looking to improove from a more basic existance.

  42. LBS
    September 30, 2010

    Why did Labour promote immigration so heavily? Was it because they thought the immigrants would vote for them? Was it because they really hated our society as it was and wished to change it? I really can't understand.

  43. Javelin
    September 30, 2010

    When large corporates say we need immigration then only a fool would believe they are saying it for the nations good. The causal chain runs from the board room to the companies shareholders – via the directors bonuses.

    The key point is that what is good for corporate profits is not necessarily good for UK PLC. The key point being the net cost AND opportunity cost to the tax payer.

    Net costs, Take an example of a large corporate selling coffee. They will press for cheap immigrant labour but do not pick up the bill for hospitals, schools, housing etc.

    Opportunity costs, take the example of a worker from OZ or India – by allowing corporate employment this robs a UK graduate of work. The corporate may not be able to get a skilled worker this month, but within 2 years the graduate would have been skilled – but now the graduate suffers abd in the long term the UK university sector will suffer as people will not see the point in going to university.

    Immigration is on the whole a good thing for corporates but a bad thing for UK PLC. It should be restricted heavily and immigrants should only be allowed into the UK if multiple independent recruitment agents or national adverts fail to recruit a trainee for the post.

  44. Andrew Johnson
    September 30, 2010

    Very sensible proposals, but they're just wishful thinking aren't they? Who can name the politicians of any of the big 3 parties who are going to publicly say these should be implemented immediately? At a time of uncertain economic future for Europe, if politicians don't do something about mass immigration, sadly, I believe it won't be too long before there will be (more troubles) in the UK and elsewhere. Who knows what might happen then?

  45. Markyd
    September 30, 2010

    Radical proposals? I think not. I just wish the politicos would stop tip-toeing around the issue and get on with what needs to be done. Oh, but then we run in to the EU…

  46. withygreen
    September 30, 2010

    Javelin (Companies rush to the exit to leave the UK) says that 25% of the IT workers in the very large bank in which he works are (from overseas -ed), over here on work visas. He says that this abuse of work visas is pushing out perfectly well qualified Brits, who would of course require higher pay. The purpose of such visas is to enable senior staff to move around. It really is about time that John Redwood and conservative politicians dealt with this scam. Nick Boles is absolutely right. We Brits are behind the curve on this one – just take a look over the Channel. The tolerant Dutch have had quite enough. The swedes have voted in a new party committed to halting immigration that holds the balance of power. I cannot stand the bleating of (those-ed) who moan about the effect an immigration cap would have on their members businesses and then bugger off to Ireland or Switzerland to avoid paying tax. Those companies also have a social responsibility to train and employ Brits. Nick Boles is absolutely right.

  47. Javelin
    September 30, 2010

    When large corporates say we need immigration then only a fool would believe they are saying it for the nations good. The causal chain runs from the board room to the companies shareholders – via the directors bonuses.

    The key point is that what is good for corporate profits is not necessarily good for UK PLC. The key point being the net cost AND opportunity cost to the tax payer.

    Net costs, Take an example of a large corporate selling coffee. They will press for cheap immigrant labour but do not pick up the bill for hospitals, schools, housing etc.

    Opportunity costs, take the example of a worker from OZ or India – by allowing corporate employment this robs a UK graduate of work. The corporate may not be able to get a skilled worker this month, but within 2 years the graduate would have been skilled – but now the graduate suffers abd in the long term the UK university sector will suffer as people will not see the point in going to university.

    Immigration is on the whole a good thing for corporates but a bad thing for UK PLC. It should be restricted heavily and immigrants should only be allowed into the UK if multiple independent recruitment agents or national adverts fail to recruit a trainee for the post.

  48. David B
    September 30, 2010

    Lit the blue touch paper there Mr Redwood.

    The five years thing should apply to our indigenous folk too. No taking out of the common insurance fund without a minimum 5 years contributions in.

  49. JohnPage
    September 30, 2010

    Fascinating – what else is in the book?

  50. Alan Jutson
    September 30, 2010

    Late addition, but having read your post and the blogs of today. I can only add that Nick Boles seems to have much support.

    I can only add my name to the list of positive supporters for many of his comments and thoughts.

    The sad fact is that we and the Government are NOT in CONTROL of our own Country anymore, and will not be until we at the very least renegotiate (to our advantage) or get out of the EU, we will never be in control.

    The fact is we are a small Island who have too many people living here, the welfare system is too complicated and is not fit for the purpose for which it was originally intended. It was originally designed as a safety net, for use in time of short term dire need, not as a long term solution to either subsidise a workfree lifestyle, or to subsidise Companies who can then pay low wages to their workers.

    The Politicians have complicated the system, just as they seem to complicate anything they get involved in.

  51. Vinc. C
    September 30, 2010

    Let's face it: the opening up of Western Europe's welfare states to the rest of the world has created a cultural and security catastrophe unprecedented in our history. ( words deleted which target a religious group)
    The political class in Europe, without a mandate from its citizens, offered to the whole world free medical care, free education, free housing, free schooling and a weekly income. Of course they came in their millions, and now they are almost a majority in many cities throughout Europe. As George Walden, the former Tory minister put it: the lines of ethnic mini-states are forming around us.

    Mr Boles says immigrants should not be given benefits; sure, but really it's too late. The vast majority of British people did not want immigration, but in Britain, democracy simply did not work. For years now, politicians from all parties have believed that immigration and asylum policies are non-negotiable moral duties and not a matter of democratic wishes. But even if the democratic voice were now heeded, it is too late: the damage has already been done. The Marxists have won.

  52. John Wood
    October 1, 2010

    I regret to say that sometime in the next few years natural events, specifically a drought in South East England will provide a salutory reminder of the dangers of overpopulation.

    If you can remember 1976 then think what it will be like with an additional 20 million people desperately needing water.

    1. simon
      October 1, 2010

      Something tells me that the 2010 public wouldn't be as good at economising on water and would use more per person than the 1976 Briton .

      Perhaps there is a case for seperate supplies , potable and non-potable so the non-potable can be turned off/down

      Putting it in place could be a good make-work task for job seekers .

  53. Andrew Duffin
    October 1, 2010

    The proposals look fine to me – exactly what we should have done years ago.

    What's even more remarkable is that every comment except one on this article is in favour of these ideas, and even the one that is not is merely a quibble.

    The disconnect between the rulers and the ruled could hardly be more clearly illustrated. There will be trouble in the end.

    1. simon
      October 1, 2010

      Yep , your last two sentences say it all .

  54. Robinson
    October 1, 2010

    The problem is that we've all become rather attached to our Polish receptionists and Slovakian cleaning ladies. When I say attached, I do mean that literally….

  55. Andrew Johnson
    October 1, 2010

    Censorship on John Redwood's blog? Does the truth hurt too much John?

  56. Watt
    October 1, 2010

    So succesful have the cultural marxists been that this is all too little too late even if it were doable, which under EU & UK law it aint

  57. Susie
    October 1, 2010

    Before the last election I was considering emigration (Canada/Australia/New Zealand) as we are in our 50s and would be semi-retired, Australia demands a bond of approx. A$250,000.

    Why doesn't the UK?

  58. ernest clarke
    October 2, 2010

    Re your review of Boles'book in today's (2/10/2010) Guardian. I realise it is not necessarily the function of a book reviewer to give their own opinions about the ideas put forward in the book they are reviewing. But it would be interesting to know your detailed opinions about the ideas expressed in this book.
    ernest clarke wokingham

  59. RightWingHeadcase
    October 5, 2010

    I think his policy is back to front. Immigration is high because we have a large group of native 'citizens' who are able to live as well (if not better) on benefits than working minimum wage, menial jobs.

    Immigration (EU and Non-EU) policy was lax under Labour because the economy was booming, there were jobs (well paid jobs in lots of cases) that were unfilled but the Labour government was unwilling to alienate it's core vote by attempting to force people of benefits and into work.

    So make working at minimum wage rewarding. The cuts to benefits the coalition has introduced so far (the total cap and the housing benefit cap) are a good start. I would also stop child benefit after the second child and ensure that social housing was allocated on a first come, first served basis – no queue jumping because you have a child.

    The carrot in this policy would be to raise the tax threshold such that an individual working 40 hours a week @ minimum wage would not pay income tax.

    Get the native lazy back to work, and immegration will take care of itself.

  60. Olaf
    October 5, 2010

    Rather than just a £5000 deposit why not mandate the purchase of a £5000 government bond. the immigrant immediately has a stake in the country as a whole and when they leave or have the bond returned they might get some interest on it so doesn't look completely heartless.

    They could even choose to leave the bond in place after they are entitled to get it back keeping the money in the system and a little investment for them.

    Everyone is a winner.

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