Why work? More evidence of problems

On Sunday the BBC provided a taxi, so I could appear on their Sunday Politics show.

The driver who took me home was a Romanian. He was smartly dressed in a suit. He spoke English well. He explained that he lived in a single room in East London. The house is owned by another Romanian with a mortgage. There are three bedrooms, all let out to Romanian workers. The landlord and his family live downstairs.

The driver works long hours. His family live in Romania. He tries to earn as much as possible for a few months, and then returns to be with his family for the summer holiday or the Christmas holiday. He minimises his expenses on accommodation, though still finds London property dear. He spends little on himself, as he wishes to send as much money back for his family as possible. He is paid only for the time he is driving with paying passengers in the car. He makes it work, and finds it easier to maintain his remote family on London pay and long hours, than from the unemployment ridden labour market of his home city. He joked that he is paying the mortgage of his Romanian landlord, who doubtless will end up richer and successful.

This driver, like many other recent arrivals, provides a good service, works hard and does not complain about his lot in life. The question is why do some of the longer term unemployed who have lived here all their lives not find the many service jobs available of interest for them? Why is London increasingly serviced by people who have recently come here and may be going back when they have earned enough money? This gentleman said there had been no problem getting the job or completing the short training to be out on the road.

As I have highlighted before, good intentions are continuing to make it less worthwhile to work. The addition of a 3% employer charge and a 4% employee tax for the NEST pension scheme comes on top of the 4% improvement in benefits relative to wages over the last couple of years. It is still getting less wortwhile for people settled here to work.

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  1. lifelogic
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:48 am | Permalink

    Indeed simply little or no incentive to work, for most people on normal wages and wages are further depressed by workers such as you describe. Better to have the time to yourself, not have to pay for transport to and from work, lunch out and child care. Why give up 40 hours a week just to be £10 PW better off?

    Also they have the risk that if they take a job and lose it they may well have trouble or delays getting back on to benefits.

    Just change the daft system to give the right incentives, they are only behaving rationally given the system that pertains. Also get out of the EU and control who we do let in to work.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:06 am | Permalink

      Goodness John, everyone has been saying this for years. The Tory led Coalition has done nothing to change it. In fact they gave a 5.2 % pay rise to welfare lifers this year while freezing pay and wrecking pensions for people who work. And cruelly punishing the prudent who save to look after themselves. Clegg trying to spin fair share in tax when his party has received £777,000 in a donation from a company based in Jersey to avoid tax and claims to help others do the same- where are the Tories?????

      Old people who ever never claimed any benefit are realising that they have worked in the knowledge that they keep their neighbour on welfare, through their taxes, at home, fed, warm, Sky TV, cigarettes, unlimited amount of children and going out socialising. At the end of their struggle to pay off the mortgage, anxiety to make ends meet they now find that they have to sell up to live in the same care home as their neighbour who gets it for free. In some instances the local authority take the work and state pension from the person going in care advising the remaining spouse to claim benefits if they can’t make ends meet!!!

      Young professionals regularly house/flat share to be able to work in London and elsewhere while their welfare contemporaries demand a larger home because of innumerable children or simply do not want to share- they also demand what areas they want to live in. Od course, they get the pick of the crop where they send their children to school.

      Under this government it does not pay to work.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:50 pm | Permalink

        @Disaffected: Same of right wing rhetoric, same old nonsense, same old ignorance. I won’t bother rebuffing your nonsense, I will just point people to the last time our host discussed

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:41 pm | Permalink

          I am certainly not right wing. But do not let facts get in your socialist labelling way.

          • pete soakell
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:31 pm | Permalink


          • uanime5
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

            Anyone who used “socialist” as an insult is right wing.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

            @Disaffected: What ever, even if you’re not “right-wing” your arguments are the same old rhetoric, same old nonsense, same old ignorance as the last time these issues were discussed… Don’t believe all you read in the likes of the Daily Mail, and even if half of cases are true that still doesn’t make it typical.

            Oh and if actually having a clue makes me “Socialist” than guilty as charged me Lord, and proud!

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 5:34 pm | Permalink


            Of course “Socialist” is an insult it does not mean the user is right wing just that he has thought things through properly using his (or her) brain rather than using irrational emotions, appeals to envy and gut feelings .

            Right and Left wing are very vague terms, to the BBC “right wing” is anything bad or evil, like Hitler and the National Socialist German Workers’ Party and any other evil or perceived unfairness they find or incubate.

            Socialism is about enforced “fairness and equality”, in fact most of the evils stem from this. The road to hell is so often paved with good intentions.

        • Christopher Ekstrom
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:34 pm | Permalink

          Dear Wally,

          Has it escaped your attention that this is a “right wing” oriented blog? Though I doubt Mr. Redwood embraces the aforementioned label most here probably would. Thus your precious condition may suffer further insult & I would advise you to only venture to read on laying down in an NHS emergency room. Please do not even CONSIDER what UKIP might do with these dear hearts suffering from work shyness. But does the locale Roarkes Drift ring a bell? Of today Austrailia is out of the question as one works there or may not enjoy tins of Tennats & fried snickers bars galore.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 7:02 am | Permalink

            Dear Mr Clueless

            Have you never ever stopped to think or do you believe everything you read on the Daily Maul.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:52 pm | Permalink

            I know lots of folk in Australia, their view is that its even more left wing and out of control than here, the state there controls allsorts of aspects of normal everyday life that I hope and pray the people here would stop if it was tried on here, given how bad the state controls and runs half the economy here I can only imagine its appauling. the state in Australia also seems to do a good job of regularly hitting their own productive sector by spending state funds on legal slagging matches with small businesses over trivial stuff, easy to be a bully when you can spend infinite amounts of legal fees to crush the little guy.

            The only wealth in Australia is in mining, digging dirt out of the ground and selling it to the Chinese as raw materials or to the French to make nuclear bombs.

        • Bickers
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

          Try as you may to label ‘Disaffected’ the thrust of his comment is true – for large numbers of Brits it doesn’t pay to work.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

            @Bickers: Then work has to be made to pay, but that is not done by making people destitute, that is oh so Victorian, what ever next when there are so many people living either in illegal squats or (more likely now) in Cardboard Cities, bring back the workhouse?!

            People are in benefits traps, or unable to find work for a reason, yes a very small minority may well be ‘work-shy’ but to suggest that is the only reason people “choose a lifestyle of benefits” is like branding all right-wing voters as Nazis just because there are a very small minority who might fit that description.

            But yes, perhaps I was being unkind, perhaps I should have accused ‘Disaffected’ of using the unthoughtful rhetoric

          • Iain Gill
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:57 pm | Permalink

            Re “People are in benefits traps” yes because the system takes no account of the costs of working, or the loss of perks such as free prescriptions, and makes it too hard when any earnings would vary widely from month to month. Re “unable to find work for a reason” mainly because the state controls a large part of the housing stock and continues to build and maintain (and effectively force people to live in) houses in areas where there will never ever again be large employers, and fails to recognise that more housing is needed in the locations where the potential for jobs exists.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:19 pm | Permalink

            Ian stop being oh so 1980s!

            People in the rented, especially LA or HA, sectors can move far more easily than those living in their own homes -even more so if they have been caught in the latest housing bubble/negative equity cycle. Even if they can sell-up and move on (family commitments and all, that baggage that most people like you and the DWP forget) doing so is not cheap. Also unless they are fortunate in finding work first, moving on speculation that the grass is going to be greener is very risky.

    • Daniel Hewson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:26 am | Permalink

      Nail hit on head, the answer is to dramatically cut immigration and introduce universal allowance with a 50/50 taper, and also have housing benefit reduced on a 50/50 taper that way someone doing 40 hours per week will be much more than £10 better off, they should be around £120 better off, if they’ve got the political will to cut the top rate of income tax and implement public service cuts, why not this? Make work pay, and people will work.

      • Andy
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:02 am | Permalink


        1) His wage might be enough to support a family in Romainia, would it be enough to support a family in the UK? Even if they lived in a different part of the country?

        2) He is paid only for the time he is driving with paying passengers in the car. If he is employed, is this legal? What about minimum wage requirements? Is he being paid through the correct processes including tax and NI?

        3) If he is offically “Self Employed” but only works for one company who provide the car, is this legal, or should he actually be employed?

        4) Does he recieve all the enitltements that go with a UK job? Holiday pay? Paternity Pay? Sick Pay? I doubt it very much.

        4) Is he actually completly self employed? If so, are you be sure that all requirements of car insurance, public liability and tax are being met?

        5) Is he claiming child benifit for his kids back home in Romania? (if not he could be)

        6) Either employed or self employed, is he paid in cash?

        7) Are rcords kept of the amount of driving he does, to ensure it stays within safe limits?

        8) Has he passed a UK driving test? (Probably does not have to)

        It’s pretty easy to make a living if you are only in the country for a few years and are saving for and providing a higher standard of living for your family back ‘home’, not caring too much about the law of the land.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 4:52 pm | Permalink

          if he was a benefits claimant in the uk working away from home he would have to travel home to attend every time he wants to kick off his benefits claim again? an absolute nightmare. if he earns a lot some months and little other months the system is not really setup to help him. to say nothing of the hassle from the housing association if they find out the primary tenant isnt really living at the house, even if his wife and kids are, no doubt they will start saying the house is too big please move to a smaller one etc.

          its the system i am afraid, so many half baked social manipualtions going on from the governement that collectively dont work and act against the right things happening.

          as someone who works away from home a lot in the uk, and moves frequently for work, although i am in a different income bracket and dont (touch wood) need to claim benefits, i can say for sure that the uk bureaucracy doesnt deal with us mobile workers very well. as someone who has regularly “got on his bike” as mr tebbit told us i find the state continually puts barriers in my way and fails to do the decent thing by us.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:10 pm | Permalink

          1) If they lived in the cheapest part of the UK then he would be able to support them but their standard of living would be less when compared to the standard of living you could afford in Romania.

          2) He is most like classed as an a self employed taxi driver working as an independent contractor for a taxi firm. As such he does not need to be paid minimum wage because he is not employed by the taxi firm.

          3) If he rents the car from the firm then he can declare himself self-employed. If the car is provided free of charge by the taxi firm then it’s highly likely that he’s not an independent contractor and therefore should not be considered self-employed.

          4) Not if he’s a contractor.

          4) That’s not possible to determine without investigating him.

          5) As he is an EU national he can claim child benefit. It’s not possible to determine whether he is claiming child benefit.

          6) If he’s a taxi driver he probably is paid in cash. Unless he has a way to accept credit cards.

          7) As there are no legally binding limits regarding how much of the day you’re allowed to drive it’s not possible to tell if he’s within the safe limit.

          8) If he has passed the Romanian driving test he doesn’t have to pass the UK one. However all driving tests in EU countries have to meet EU standards.

          Reply The BBC has accounts with the firms, I believe. There should be no cash passing in such cases.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:14 am | Permalink

      I see Balls has said – Labour will examine every penny of public spending. Shadow chancellor says incoming Labour government would carry out root and branch budget review!

      Rather a shame Cameron and Osborne did not do so and Ed Balls did not do so when he and Brown were making a pigs ear of the UK economy.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

        We might not like what Balls, Milliband and Browne did to he economy, but it was their idea and vision. Cameron and Osborne have just followed what they put in place.

      • APL
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

        lifelogic: “Ed Balls did not do so when he and Brown were making a pigs ear of the UK economy.”

        Ed Balls is lying, he is a politician and his lips are moving, so I can tell.

        Liebour are playing the same game as the Tories.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 5:15 pm | Permalink

          I saw Ed Milibands Q & A with the public on TV this afternoon, I could demolish his every answer easily, and in a way which made it clear I had the best interests of all sections of society including the poorest at heart. I am amazed we don’t have Conservative spokespeople on all the national media picking his answers to bits. Its clear Ed wants ever more people dependant on the state and ever more control taken away from the citizenry. I get the impression the Conservative leadership just don’t have a gut feel for how ordinary folk feel about these issues because none of them ever have been ordinary people, if they had they would probably be instinctively be able to demolish this nonsense like I could.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 2:29 pm | Permalink

          Liebour are playing the same game as the Tories.

          @APL: I wouldn’t push the use of that play on names, “Liebour” is far to close to Libor, some people might miss understand what you’re implying…

          • APL
            Posted October 6, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

            Jerry: ““Liebour” is far to close to Libor, ”

            Of course Jerry, the libor rate fixing scandal didn’t just magically appear in the last two years. It was going on with the complicity of the Fed and BoE for at least the previous decade.

            Government has been one of the main beneficiaries of low borrowing rates.

    • Au
      Posted October 6, 2012 at 5:10 pm | Permalink

      Simple. British people have homes or parentts home and dont have families to support so they wont do low paid jobs

  2. norman
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:50 am | Permalink

    I hope his landlord is declaring all this extra income and not accepting the rent ‘cash in hand’ from his three tenants. We all know how such immorality is viewed in the Conservative Party.

    Or it could be he’s screwing the taxman for as much as he can, pocketing the whole lot in cash and sending it back to Romania.

    I know which one I’d prefer he’s doing and my spidey sense rarely lets me down.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:03 am | Permalink

      £4250 of rent PA is tax free (under the rent a room scheme) and he can offset his mortgage interest and running costs and depreciation so it is unlikely he will have very much tax to pay even if he does actually declare it?

      He will also perhaps have all the, over the top, health and safety, houses in multiple occupation, hassle and costs lumped on to him too by the council (also tax allowable).

      • norman
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:05 am | Permalink

        I was thinking the operation was more likely to be along the lines of ‘I know someone who is living in London, look him up when you get there’ and there’s no official declaration of any tenancy or subletting.

        I’ve close-ish ties with the working immigrant community here (some legal, some not) and I know first hand of people being crammed into council / private houses and paying rent and not a penny declared.

        As you say, why go through all the hassle of the red tape when it can just be done on a nod and a wink? No one checks up on these things (again from first hand experience).

        I suppose I could grass hard working people trying to make a living to some government hotline so the Leviathan can extract it’s pound of flesh but I prefer to be a good citizen and have some compassion for my fellow beings.

      • zorro
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:52 am | Permalink

        Assuming that the driver was being completely candid…I would suggest it could be housing association accommodation/subsidised accommodation which is being let to certain Romanians and they are then sub letting to other Romanians like him.

        If, it is a Romanian who has obtained a mortgage or has been here for some while I would be very interested to know if he was officially sub letting and paying tax.

        Either way, it is not a level playing field at London prices. The guy will have little living expenses while working and will send sterling back to Romania which will be worth a lot to his wife and kids in Romania. I wonder if he might also consider popping in a child benefit claim for the kids too. OK, that might not be the case for him, but it certainly happens elsewhere. A British man with a wife and three kids cannot as easily manage in London or the suburbs as an immigrant can with his family back home. There is a huge temptation to misuse the benefits/taxation system here for foreign nationals. It seems to them like a free sweetshop which they can easily milk with a little bit of thought. Perhaps a little negative, but I can guarantee to you that this is what happens.

        I want to see British people employed but until uncontrolled immigration is stopped, it will not be possible. Yes, they may seem very nice when you speak to them, but it is costing the nation dear in the long run.

        And when you say….’works hard and does not complain about his lot in life..’ He probably doesn’t because he can maintain his family in Romania quite comfortably, but even so watch out because Mr Cameron might use those words to you if you don’t stop complaining about the EU…;-)


        Reply The system is open to abuse, of course. I have no reason to suppose the driver I talked to was doing anything illegal. He was driving for a taxi company used by the BBC, who presumably check out their suppliers. The point I am making it is possible for this to happen legally under EU and UK rules.

        • zorro
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

          John, you are correct to make the point that it is too easy to access the employment market…..Mind you, I think that it is the employer who is required to make sure that their employee has the correct documents. I suppose the BBC would contract out the risk there.


        • paydirt
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:03 am | Permalink

          Romanians, and Bulgarians, are not allowed to be employed, to work they must be selfemployed. They are second class citizens of Europe, but I find them top notch men and women!

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:58 pm | Permalink


        Bet he has not informed his mortgage provider he is letting out his rooms.

        If he did he would be paying higher borrowing rates, also higher insurance premiums.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm | Permalink

          Nor, and perhaps worse, his insurance company.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:18 am | Permalink

      Undoubtedly, his mortgage application would be fraudulent. He will be paying virtually no tax on his income. He will not be adhering to any of the multiple occupancy laws. Bascially, most of the house will be operating ouside the rules and laws and monolithic bureaucracy imposed on the long standing population. This John, is why new migrants can survive and prosper where we would fail and be punished.

      1 Jan 2014. All Romanians and Bulgarians will be free to travel and work in the UK. They will work for less than the Poles and they are far poorer and desperate than the Polish. Their borders are porous and their administration corrupt. Welcome to a new wave of mass immigration. Slough is overflowing. Perhaps, Wokingham will welcome them.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:01 pm | Permalink

        @WS: In your opinion of course Mr Smith, I don’t expect for one moment you know this person to even wave to from the other side of the street, pure conjecture on your part. The only thing that is without doubt is your dislike of such people.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:37 pm | Permalink

          He may well, like myself, not dislike them at all and even have some sympathy for them – but is just pointing out the reality of the effects of huge EU migrations. In undercutting UK wages, costing the benefit, health and education systems and exporting much UK funds overseas.

          • Jerry
            Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

            @lifelogic: It was his choice of language not his argument that annoyed me and caused the terse reply, yourself and others have made similar points to those of Mr Smith but have done so without that sort of language.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:21 pm | Permalink

            You forgot providing cheap labour to employers lifelogic.

        • zorro
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:59 pm | Permalink

          Jerry, all you are doing is showing the weakness in your argument. You do not address any relevant points.


      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:23 pm | Permalink

        Indeed…as so often the case government has to dance on the very edge of the precipice before anything is done with critics routinely shouted down. The response will be too little, too late.

      • Max Dunbar
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:43 pm | Permalink

        Your opinion is spot on. We all know the reality. We have eyes.

  3. Mike Stallard
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:00 am | Permalink

    And visiting regularly EU immigrants (18 last evening in our lesson) I learn things. Many of them are like the taxi driver. Several of them are, frankly, drunk Russians from the old Soviet Union. Lots of drinking “for their health”. Several young mums, now nearly English with English children who are doing well.
    But an alarming number plugged into the welfare state in one way or another.
    PS Don’t go out at night! Especially in the park. (can be a dangerous place-ed) I took a couple back to London so they could go home because they had been robbed. And this is in a small fenland town miles from civilisation.

    • zorro
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:54 am | Permalink

      I know that there are issues in your area, has the ‘campsite’ moved yet or does it still exist?


      • Mike Stallard
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:08 pm | Permalink

        You jest! The campsite has now turned into a series of clapboard houses. In addition there is now another one at the end of our road with full planning permission and two clapboard houses – and two further caravans.

  4. colliemum
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:02 am | Permalink

    One very large part of the question why foreigners can find work here, and work hard, is that our jobless seem to think they ought to start with top-paying management jobs, and that menial jobs are beneath them – if they’re young.
    Those jobless in their 30s and 40s have usually been in and out of various short-term jobs, and have settled into this revolving-door life, where they can get by with hardly any effort on their part. ‘Extras’ can always be had by black market work, and it is easy to slip into criminality.
    Another aspect is that our indigenous non-workers have by now learned how to game the system, helped by those in the various welfare offices who seem to think that there’s this pot of free money, that it is up to them to help distribute this free money, and that it should be taken since it’s there. After all – not to take what is there is stupid, isn’t it?

    Perhaps, in the spirit of exchange of European culture, we should send our jobless to Romania and Bulgaria, to fend for themselves, same as that Romanian taxi driver came here and fends for himself.

    • Caratacus
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:14 am | Permalink


      There is much in what you say, but do you not think that these feckless people have been positively encouraged to take this very course by successive weak-willed governments?

      If we accept that the perceived duty of any political party is to stay in office at all costs once attained then the creation of a client state, dependent on welfare of one sort or another, is almost certain to result. It is the soft option, the easy option and – deep joy – is paid for by other people.

      I am not sure of much these days when it comes to what may or may not happen in Britain over the next few years, but I am sure that we will see more of the sort of Romanian gentleman described by John, that the indigenous unemployed will prove to be almost impossible to ‘tempt’ back into work, and – sadly – the likelihood of politicians of John’s calibre being given the opportunity to put matters right is on a par with the PM graciously announcing that we are to be favoured with a referendum on whether or not we remain a part of a dubious foreign enterprise.

      • Single Acts
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:07 am | Permalink

        How on earth would the PM have time to address actual stuff when he is busy preening on Letterman?

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:43 pm | Permalink

          One assume he expects to lose the next election and is starting on the US lecture/personality business now (while still drawing pay and travel cost from the public purse) and later a large and richly undeserved pension and perhaps EU job too.

          These socialist, they are all the same.

    • Daniel Hewson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:29 am | Permalink

      Send the Romanian back to Romanian to fend for himself, he clearly found it too tough there.

    • zorro
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:57 am | Permalink

      colliemum, it’s apples and pears though. There are no such jobs or opportunities in Romania and that is why they come here to work in London. You could never earn enough money in Romania to maintain your family in the UK. But UK pay to a Romanian with a family in Romania is a good proposition….


      • lifelogic
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:44 pm | Permalink

        Indeed more overseas aid I suppose.

        • zorro
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:06 pm | Permalink

          Well, certainly the export of capital earned in the Uk to foreign countries. One thing is for sure, a lot of the money earned by foreign nationals goes in remittances back home, and is often taken back in cash.

          Of course, nothing wrong with movement of capital across borders per se but we would want workers wages to be spent in the UK.


    • uanime5
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:47 pm | Permalink

      Well if you’ve gotten A-levels or a degree why should you work in the same jobs as those with GCSEs or no education? Sadly too many employers fail to realise that educated people have more aspirations than the uneducated.

      • outsider
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 11:57 am | Permalink

        Dear Uanime5,
        There is no entitlement. But I would agree that there is a difference between starting your career in a low-level job, which was always the norm, and taking a job that has no career prospects. And that is true whether the entry-level job is in an office, factory, workshop or building site.
        When only 5 per cent of people attended university, some did walk straight into high status jobs, but that was often when there were class divisions in employment that now remain in only a few areas such as the army. Obviously, this kind of privilege cannot continue in many walks of life when 40 per cent go to what is labelled as “university” .

        The sad thing is that, as a result of neglect or hostility by successive governments, there are now far fewer private sector employers who can offer careers. But there are still many.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:18 am | Permalink

        You have to work to support yourself take any job in effect. Employers exploit this by employing a sweeper and then pressurise him to do more demanding work and often in some cases academic work at the same time telling him he is just the sweeper upper when there is no other more difficult work to do. This idea that he can climb the greasy pole is not part of the deal. He will do this until the company does not need him any more and often the work he has done is to specific to that company to use elsewhere. They pay or they ram it and you find work that pays for a sweeper upper only. Half arsed internships are for the birds.

        • outsider
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:55 am | Permalink

          Dear Bazman, It depends on the attitudes of the company and the would-be employee. Some companies offer work experience and internships merely to tick a “social responsibility” box, a few exploit cheap or free labour. But most, I would suggest, see them as a useful trawl of potential employees with the right ability and attitude. Likewise, some work experience/intern people go through the motions, some put everything into an opportunity to line up employment and others want to try out a company/occupation to see if is for them.

  5. Daniel Hewson
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:12 am | Permalink

    In all my life I have never heard such stupidity as this article, for the Romanian guy, coming to this country allows him to earn wages 3/4/5/6/7 times what he could earn in Romania, if Mr. Redwood young British workers could travel to Australia, Canada or the US and immediately be earning 3/4/5/6/7 times what they could earn in the UK, they’d leave at once, they’d be gone, I’d be one of them. What there isn’t in Romania, is gangs of British youth on the streets (misbehaving-ed), whereas the very reverse is true here.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:08 am | Permalink


      Hardly a stupid artical is it when JR is simply reporting the results of a conversatation which happened with him present.

      He quite rightly asks then a simple question, which is very relevent indeed to immigration, employment, the creation of jobs, the tax system and the economy.

      Out here in the big wide World we all know this example is fact.

      People come here, live many to a room to keep expenses down, are self employed in so far as they only get paid when they actually work.
      They get no sickness pay, no hoilday pay, are probably not registered with anyone and thus do not pay tax, national insurance and do not carry all of the other overheads and stoppages which would apply to an employed person.
      Thus they can work for less, indeed should they be taken ill those who pay tax even pay for their treatment so that they can get better.

      I doubt if the landlord has registered his propety as a house of multiple occupation, where certain safety rules apply, and again the local Council and Inland revenue are completely unaware.

      Should in this example the man be registered and pay some taxes you may well find he is able to claim for his family in Romania from our own Benefits system, even if they do not live here.

      With the introduction of the Sat Nav you now do not even have to “do the knowledge” to qualify for reward and hire in a private car, you still have to have more expensive insurance though (another loophole).

      This sort of set up applies to so many jobs now, the building industry is rife with it, as is the catering industry, and many, many others.

      That is why getting control of immigration and the benefits system is so important, but politicians by and large because they rarely get involved with such people direct (other than perhaps their cleaner and gardener if they have one) who is often paid cash, do not yet see the threat.

      Thus this artical is very, very important indeed, as it goes to the nub of the problem, the growing alternative economy, the inflexibility of our benefits system, the fact that work must pay, immigration, tax rates, the minimum wage (which does not apply in such examples), the reason for falling tax revenues and the high unemployment figures.

      Politicians by and large. have yet to work out the connection, certainly those in the Westminster bubble, do not have a clue what is really going on.

      Wake up and smell the bacon, before its too late.

      We need a drastic change !

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:15 am | Permalink

        Spot on. But mass immigration continues under the Tories when Cameron promised to reduce it. You cannot tell me they have even tried. It does not take two and half years to make some in roads- immigration continues to soar. Lib Dems wanted this and made it clear in the TV debate. Hardly anyone mentions how Clegg’s rating plummeted when he advanced his pledge. Cameron has gone along with it.

        Previously mentioned yesterday Abu Qatada is still here after all court cases and May visiting Jordan- Why. Why is the government allowing hundreds of thousands of people from Pakistan (north Pakistan) each year when they also claim the UK military is in Afghanistan to prevent terrorism??

        Reply: Your figures are far too high. The state is meant to allow in people who will keep the law and qualify under the rules for entry, as most do.

        • Disaffected
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:47 pm | Permalink

          Depends on what period of time you refer to. About 120,000 last year- that we know about.

        • David Price
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

          @reply – No it is not meant to let anyone in. The state is meant to look out for those it should serve not every person who may wish to come here and take advantage of our economy.

          The state cannot hide behind laws it created itself and claim although inadequate to the purpose they cannot do anything.

        • zorro
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:15 pm | Permalink

          I have just done some research on the Home Office statistics site and looked at Pakistani national entries in 2011……They are as follows

          Total granted entry – 238,000

          Employment – 5,340
          Study – 34,700
          Family – 6,970
          Other (visitors etc)……191,000

          Interestingly the number of students has increased year on year from

          2009 – 10,700
          2010 – 24,700
          2011 – 34,700


      • Daniel Hewson
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

        I agree with everything you write but you seem to be taking a different lesson out of this article than me, my reading was ‘see look at the Romanians, their happy to live 5 to a room, work all ours of the day, why can’t our own unemployed be so hard working?’ and not ‘lets control immigration and clampdown on dodgy landlords’ as you seem to have read.

        • alan jutson
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:19 pm | Permalink


          No, I am with you, these people by living and working as they do, are destroying well established businesses who play by the rules, play by the regulations, employ people on the correct terms and conditions and pay taxes.

          I would certainly hope JR is not suggesting that we all operate the same way as you suggested.

          Yes we can certainly do with the work ethic.

          Yes we clearly. No desperately, need to change the benefits system, but above all we need to put up a closed sign to further immigration.

          You only have to do one simple thing really.

          All immigrants between the ages of 18-40 need to serve in our armed forces for 2 years before resident entry is allowed in the UK.

          Yes, that means you can be sent anywhere in the world to serve.

          After 2 years unblemished service you will then have confirmed you would like to be here, that you hold a stake in our country and will be admitted.

          In addition you would have paid taxes for 2 years, paid into the system for 2 years and you are thus welcome.

          Then see the figures drop like a stone !

          Allowing Free movement of labour is only sensible if all other things are equal, if not the Country which promises the most riches, gets overloaded with people seeking their fortune (by work or benefits), simple comonsense and human nature that most politicians seem to fail to understand

          John, I am not sure what response you were expecting today to your posting, perhaps you have been surprised, perhaps not, but this subject is really at the heart of so much worry for so many of us.

          Thank you for having the conversation with the taxi driver in question, instead of burying your head in your laptop, thinking he was a pleb !

          Let us hope a few more politicians open their eyes and ears to what its really like in the UK at present then we may get some way to solving our problems.

          Reply: I do n ot pretend to have all the answers. I talk to many different people ion my job, and try to report modern britain as I see it. In this case I think there are all sorts of issues we need to consider – our membership of the current EU with its open borders, our general immigration policy, our attitude to work and welfare etc

        • DaveK
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink


          Perhaps you “see” a laudable work ethic, which is true. But do you also “see” an indigenous person doing the same thing whilst providing enough for separate accommodation for his wife and children and then venturing home on holiday to live like a local professional? You see that’s the point!

          • Bazman
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:20 am | Permalink

            No minimum wage and easy hire and fire will help that one.

      • Liz
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

        The question is just why do not the councils check up on such multiple occupation houses? They cannot deny that they know such things are going on when it is so widely known. Is it fear of being labelled racist – where the laws of the land only seem to apply to the resident population? How many people are “employing” or “using” cheap immigrant labour for decorating etc. knowing or suspecting that the work can only be done at such a low price because of tax (council as well as income) avoidance and multiple house occupancy – handicapping their own young citizens in their search for work and homes. Do they not bear some responsibility too?

      • zorro
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

        Sound points Alan


      • sm
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 10:37 pm | Permalink

        Immigration system , benefit checks, and eligibility to work tests.
        Complete fail for the public sector on all counts. Why?


    • NJHGC
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:09 am | Permalink

      In fact young British workers can do exactly that. My 20yr old cousin is currently working in the mines of Western Australia and pulls in a 6 figure annual wage in return for his labour. I imagine there’s not a lot beyond alcohol and female company on which to spend one’s earnings. He’ll be buying a house on his return.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:43 pm | Permalink

        Great example . Did he have any mining industry experience when he went out or did he just show the right attitude ?

        Why doesn’t he wait for Australia to have a property crash and buy there ?

        What will he have to come back too other than family and friends ?

    • pete soakell
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

      Complete nonsense. Please do not pollute this forum with your idiocy.
      Pete Soakell

  6. Pete the Bike
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:42 am | Permalink

    It is the overwhelming regulation and benefit culture of the UK that causes the problems. Every time the state makes up another rule or scheme it makes the situation worse. I cannot employ people in my business because the rules make it counterproductive and extremely risky to do so. Someone on benefits can’t take short term work because when the work is done they have to go through the whole system again before they can get back on benefit, that just doesn’t make sense in the real world. We have a dependency culture that is so pervasive and undermining that only a financial collapse will change it. That could be soon the way George and Dave are running the economy.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

      Indeed, we cannot have relatively high benefits and the free movement of people for long. One or the other or both must go.

      • Daniel Hewson
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:30 am | Permalink

        The latter, otherwise we’re letting the EU destroy the welfare system our forefathers fought for.

      • sm
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:34 pm | Permalink


        Perhaps the public costs associated with EU migrants should be deducted from EU subscription and or overseas aid.

        It would have been better to maintain labour movement controls until comparable GDP per capita was equivalent.

        But alas the ruling ‘BBC groupthink-class..dont see it as a problem, its a benefit for them.They can get cheaper taxis, cheaper home help etc etc.

        Also i dont buy the line UK individuals would not take a similar role if it was all legal and above board! Was the role advertised apart from in Romanian?

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:41 pm | Permalink

      This raises the simple question of why aren’t the rules changed so that someone taking a temporary job can apply to have their benefits suspended for a short period and then to reinstate them once the job finishes. This excuse that people don’t take temporary jobs because of the long time it takes to reinstate their benefits is used so often that some urgent action is needed. The result should be more people employed and a reduction in red tape.

      • alan jutson
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:20 pm | Permalink



  7. A.Sedgwick
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:57 am | Permalink

    My view remains that until income tax and n.i. is removed for low incomes the welfare cost will remain out of control. Tax credits should be abolished and family allowance restricted to two children in future and only for children permanently resident in the UK. The benefit trap is clearly a massive disincentive and these marginal earners need to be encouraged and not be allowed to have a financial reason to be unemployed. A flat tax system is obvious to many of us but I have yet to hear a worthwhile argument against.

    • alan jutson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:30 am | Permalink

      A Sedgwick

      Agreed, no one on the minimum wage should be paying tax,

      Agreed ref child benefit, but make it one child per adult only (2 per couple).

      • Jerry
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:26 pm | Permalink

        The “nasty party” is alive and well, why not punish the child, why not indeed, after all he or she really did ask to be born – not.

        • sm
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:37 pm | Permalink

          Well pretty soon they wont be much room for all the new kids in London schools. Have you read any Malthus?

        • alan jutson
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink


          Forgive me but I thought grown ups produced children.

          I agree a child cannot choose their parents.

          Ever heard of contraception ?

          Why should I pay for someone else’s children, beyond one for each. (two per couple)

          • Jerry
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

            Yes Alan I’ve heard of contraception, have you ever heard of accidents [1], and as such what are you suggesting, that the state should encourage (or even enforce) sterilisation…

            Why should I pay for …..

            Perhaps because you live in a civilised society?

            [1] and what then, make the once born child suffer at the hand of the state or should the mother be ‘encouraged’ to have an abortion

    • uanime5
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:04 pm | Permalink

      At present you don’t have to pay income tax if you earn less than £8,105 per year and NI if you earn less than £5,564 per year. So some people on minimum wage who work part time won’t pay any income tax or NI. Though if you work full time you will pay both.


      Secondly tax credits are given to people working in low paid jobs to encourage them to work in these jobs. Removing them will greatly reduce the incentive to work, especially if you have children.

  8. Alex Powell
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:07 am | Permalink

    Your Romanian chap lives in one room and raises his family in Romania where living costs are much much cheaper than the UK.
    How can young Britains compete with this chap and have any hope of raising a family here?

    We had 18 years of a Conservative government that did little to stem mass immigration then it got many times worse under Labour which the current shower have nothing to address.

    No wonder we’re all ditching the Conservatives for UKIP and their sensible manifesto pledges.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:10 am | Permalink

      Quite Alex ,

      I have admiration for the Romanian making a huge sacrifice for the sake of his family .

      However , he undercutting the British worker and is only able to do so because his costs in Romania are so low .

      So the middle classes think they are getting cheaper taxis , plastering , extensions at the expense of the (now non) working class but in fact they aren’t because the costs of supporting the unemployed Briton are socialised .

      How much better that the money gets earned by a Briton and spent in Briton on a British family rather than taken overseas .

      The lure of quick money is often a mistake . I knew a chap who took his family to Hong Kong with a view to making so much in 5 years that the family could retire . His job consisted of taking prospective clients out on the town which in Hong Kong means alcohol + girlie bars= an assault on the senses .

      To cut a long story short , he bucked the trend by coming back with money but lost his marriage and his family . Similarly I know of nannies from the Philippines in the UK who leave their own children in the Philippines .

      A proper state pension and surplus of housing generated by building of social housing which is only open to British Citizens would help .

      John , not sure what point you are trying to make with NEST . Would be grateful if you could share your opinion of it in a future article please .

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:14 pm | Permalink

        Infact immigration for such jobs is always going to be more expensive . Even an MP should be able to do the arithmetic and conclude that it costs more to support :-
        1 * British family with benefits + 1 * Romanian family
        than just support the 1 *British family by employing them .

        John Terry for Home Secretary . Unlike Mrs May he would act in the interests of British people ; all of them .

        Reply: His outburst was quite wrong and has been rightly censured by the FA.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:36 pm | Permalink

          Re reply: My problem is that he was found innocent in a court of law, now the FA find him guilty, surely the higher burden of proof is the one that should stand – if the court of law is wrong then the law needs to be changed for any future cases?

          Double-Jeopardy with a lower level of proof is not cricket…

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:36 pm | Permalink

        Surely he just means NEST will take another 7%? out of the pocket of employees and employers and put a further squeeze on the private sector that it needs like a hole in the head at this time.

        They later force you, in effect, to lend cheaply to governments by buying a duff return annuity.

        • zorro
          Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:11 pm | Permalink

          Exactly, which may well be illusory in time…..


  9. Adam C
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:25 am | Permalink

    The real problem in this story is the landlord, getting rich on the back of the taxi driver’s toil with little or no effort or risk to himself. This situation stems from the creation of a huge housing bubble under the previous government and the refusal of this government to allow it to deflate, the primary facilitator in both cases being a myopic central bank.

    • Single Acts
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      As a Landlord I am happy to correct you. There is indeed effort and much risk.

      If you don’t think so, try it for yourself.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:43 am | Permalink

      What makes you think the landlord is “getting” rich on it? After all the costs of purchase stamp duty, legal fees, interest, depreciation, admin, maintenance, council tax … he is probably not making that much, if anything, for all the effort. With this appalling government in place the value of the property will probably fall anyway as the economy continues its government enforced decline.

      So he may even make a loss for all his efforts. If he does not have a mortgage then he was rich already, before he bought it.

      • lifelogic
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:17 am | Permalink

        People (tenants) often assume the rent they pay is all profit for the Landlord it is not. Often they make no profit at all especially when house prices are in decline.

        • Bazman
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:24 am | Permalink

          True, but London often bucks the trend and he does not say where he lives.

      • A different Simon
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

        House or more specifically land prices will have to decline because the cost of accommodation is out off line with peoples earnings Lifelogic .

        I feel very sorry for people who bought houses at the peek of the biggest credit driven boom in recent history but under such circumstances a correction is inevitable and desirable .

        People are not able to save anything for old age so they are effectively paying for today’s accommodation with their pensions . This situation is unsustainable !

        If the next generation is condemned to expensive accommodation they will not be able to honour all these commitments which have been made on their behalf by the current generation because they will be unable to generate a surplus with which to do so .

        If the next generation can’t pay because they are paying it all to landlords where do you think the Govt is going to look to plug the gap ?

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:39 am | Permalink

          They certainly will decline if the government continues with its current anti-business anti-growth policies.

      • zorro
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:13 pm | Permalink

        Generally yes, but this specific landlord is unlikely to be concerned with those matters and will most certainly be pocketing most of the rent as profit (untaxed)…..


    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:25 am | Permalink

      How can it deflate when we the State is importing 500,000 people every year?

    • Jeremy Hummerstone
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

      It may be another problem, but it is not “the real problem”, or at least not the problem that is the subject of this article.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:47 pm | Permalink

      The problem is not landlords in general but those with houses that have multiple occupancy. There needs to be closer monitoring of these houses. Maybe the companies that give landlords mortgages need to be brought into the multiple occupancy loop.

  10. Gary
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:33 am | Permalink

    It also raises the issue of remittances and the UK balance of payments.

    The World Bank estimates the outflow of remittances from the UK at about $3.5billion a year and I suspect that is an underestimate:

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:32 am | Permalink

      And your point is? (I haven’t checked the link) Are you promoting the re-introduction of exchange controls? How would that leave me? I was born in England, I am a ‘white Anglo-Saxon’. I have two daughters, each with children, they live in the USA and Holland respectively, their children were born in those countries. I send money to them now and again. I vist them and take money. Would you prevent me from doing so or limit what I can send, what is your argument based upon? Surely it is not racially motivated. I presume you favour very strict limits on immigration – fair enough if so as a generality. I am in favour of freedom of the individual wherever they are from.

      • sm
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:47 pm | Permalink

        Whispers of exchange control in the event of certain scenarios have been mentioned in some online articles. If everyone tried to sell all that (produced out of thin air) fiat in one go for something else it could cause er mayhem. Exchange controls ensures the confiscation of wealth denominated in fiat happens efficiently.

  11. ChrisXP
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:36 am | Permalink

    There is a danger that when people take poorly-paid “menial” jobs, they may get stuck in them for years on end, especially with the conditions we currently have. If you have no qualifications then maybe it’s not so bad, but for those who have worked for and acquired good university degrees, it’s utterly demoralising to think that you could be spending the next ten years stacking shelves or serving in a charity shop.
    It is hard to keep graduate skills sharpened when you are working in a job that does not employ them to their full extent. A science graduate usually wants a science job of some kind, rather than supermarket box-packing. As it is, the “menial” jobs are usually so poorly paid that people need to be on benefits top-ups to make ends meet.

    This country has sent shed-loads of work abroad, depriving the people of many decent work opportunities. We are now top-heavy with what I call “people-person” jobs, like managers, sales reps and PR. Where is all the research and development that we used to have? where is all the engineering and technical work? and all the industries? Are we now just going to be a nation of odd-jobbers, expecting our children to drift from one short term occupation to another, like wandering nomads? It certainly seems that way.

  12. Horatio McSherry
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    It reminds me of the Bob Newhart story of the time he worked in the Illinois unemployment department:

    “I was on $55 a week, and at that time the claimants were on $50 a week…and they only had to come in once a week! Didn’t take me long to work that one out!”

  13. Caterpillar
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:51 am | Permalink

    Alongside the immediate motivational factors associated with Govt indeuced market distortions, I wonder whether for a smaller number there can be a fear of self-labelling. For some ambitious and able is there a fear of having what some employers will view as a menial role on their CV, and whether this will actually count negatively for them in trying to get through HR depts selection processes?(Whereas many reading JR’s diary will view any work as a good sign, I wonder whether all employers have this view.) I also guess the reverse is true, that if a UK qualified, UK citizen applies for a role, whether companies will think they will walk as soon as another opportunity appears.

    [On another issue I do wonder about the focus on age which appears to have again happened with the Standard’s apprenticeship push. Whether political or media based, I do worry that these well intended, but often age-biased approaches can have unintended consequences of devaluing other parts of the population … but then I am not young.]

  14. Sebastian Weetabix
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:03 am | Permalink

    We have idle long term unemployed for a few reasons; firstly we are prepared to pay them to do nothing, secondly there is no ‘stick’ to encourage the workshy (they do exist, despite Labour/BBC propaganda to the contrary) and finally marginal tax rates around the minimum wage level are absolutely punitive – combine the minimum wage with loss of benefits, and people’s earnings are hammered. If I remember correctly the effective tax rate can be as high as 80%. Put this together with unlimited population movement inside the EU and you get what we have got – massive “structural” unemployment, several million indigenous scroungers with a sense of entitlement, and all the low end jobs taken by Eastern Europeans with a little get-up-and-go from countries with minimal welfare.

    We must be mad.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 4:30 pm | Permalink

      Your answer being to make them all more desperate to enable them to compete with East Europeans that are willing to travel? There is a sense of entitlement in this country by the indigenous population for a certain standard of living even without working and this is justified. There is also an entitlement to better this by working. Cutting benefits to zero is going to be counter productive for sure.

  15. forthurst
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:08 am | Permalink

    Obviously, English people should transfer their families to parts of the Old Soviet Union, supporting them from a service job whilst living in a bed-sitting room here, paying an extortionate rent to a slum landlord, based upon the artificial property shortage caused by the deliberate maintenance of the property bubble and the unrestricted immigration policies of the Labour and Bluelabour governments. Wonderful. It really is very difficult for the rest of us to determine where the English-hating evil of so many of our politicians ends and straightforward congenital stupidity begins.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:53 pm | Permalink

      Well put .

      Many people (and the LibLabCon alliance ) seem to assume that the next generation will repeat the mistakes of this generation .

      Lets face it , it won’t take a Churchill to blow the current lacklustre political establishment into the weeds .

      I used to think UKIP was the answer but am now looking at YPP ; The Young People’s party . They have got a lot of things right and I feel I could make a contribution where they have got things wrong .


      • Bob
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:44 pm | Permalink

        @A different Simon
        “The Young People’s party”

        Who will they vote for when they get older?

      • David Price
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 7:37 am | Permalink

        Some interesting ideas though it took some effort to get past their general principles statement. I won’t be supporting them and they won’t care as they have decided I fall into a group they detest by virtue of my age and attainment. In their anti-meritocracy and anti-aged world I wonder what they will do when members pass the magic 50th birthday – strip them of all possessions and move them to a capsule hostel somewhere grim and cold?

        They are no less tribal than the current lot so not much radical change there just the wish to redistribute the spoils of enterprise so it looks like they are repeating the mistakes of previous generations.

    • zorro
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

      I think the evidence shows that they conflate quite nicely somewhere in the middle….


    • sm
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 12:01 am | Permalink

      Yep.thats about the mark. None of this effect them yet. Publicly protected as they are, pensions, jobs if they tow the line, EU gravy train stops for passengers regularly, Why rock the boat or train?

      I guess you need to ask who benefits from this? Big business through low wages.
      The banks as people need to live somewhere rented or not, artificially increasing support. Even if demand per capita is falling , just increase the capita easy!

      And you think you can reduce spending in areas relating to unemployment without major consequences. Welcome to the EU race to the bottom!

      The only ones that are protected are the ones cutting the deals. Note Greece etc.

  16. Phillip Downs
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:22 am | Permalink

    I think your article misses what is to my mind the fundamental point that amplifies dramatically the disincentive provided by the benefits system. The Romanian worker lodged here can earn several times what he would earn in his own country when his money is remitted home. By not controlling economic migration the market was, in fact, fatally rigged against the indigenous population by the previous Labour government. Once again, this provides an example of politicians failing to think through the consequences of their policies on even the most basic intellectual level. The continuing failure of your party to get immigration under control just compounds this. What native person could afford to accomodate a family on unpredictable taxi driver wages, particularly if trying to live in London. Imagine if he was trying to earn his living in Poland and sending the money back here. This is not a level playing field!

    Underneath all this lies, once again, the problem that we are continuing to fail to confront, namely the ridiculous cost of property in a large part of the country and our failure over the last decade to construct economic policy to confront property price inflation. High property prices play a part in virtually all our most pressing problems and the maintenance of asset prices as a result of our QE programme is an insane response to this. I wish that there was some indication that your government understood this.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

      I think you are wrong about Labour, in particular, “failing to think through the consequences”. They knew exactly what they were doing and have achieved their goal.

    • zorro
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:18 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps an audit of MPs property portfolios might be illuminating……


  17. Kevin R. Lohse
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:35 am | Permalink

    It’s all happened before. Re-read Gibbon’s,”Decline and Fall”.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:26 pm | Permalink

      Can we cut to vol 6; we must be there by now? Afterall, our Empire went a half century ago and the (replacement tribes-ed) have been here as long; soon they’ll become the legitimate owners of our country with their own quaint customs including ‘shopping with purpose’, and unlike Rome, we will never experience a Renaissance (etc).

      Reply: Crime is committed by all sorts of people in our country, including members of families whmo have lived here for many generations.

  18. English Pensioner
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

    My 4 year old grandson goes to a local nursery. All the staff except the lady in charge seem to be East European, but the thing is they speak far better English than many natives of this country. They are all very nice, but with unemployment at its present level, I’m find it strange that no local girls want the job and can only assume that they’re better off not working.
    But looking to the future, these staff are going to take better jobs putting our own people out of work. One of the girls I spoke to also spoke French and German and well as her native Slovak and admitted she was looking for a job which required foreign languages. With our current educational standards, how are our school leavers going to compete against such people?

    • uanime5
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:15 pm | Permalink

      In the UK you need a specific qualification in order to work in a nursery. As this qualification isn’t normally taught in schools and the Government won’t pay to train someone to work in a nursery it’s no surprise that the locals can’t work there. The Government puts too much emphasis getting people into work and not enough on training people so they can work.

      For more information on the qualifications required I recommend this website.

      • outsider
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 11:39 am | Permalink

        Dear Uanime5,
        As a taxpayer, I do not think I should be responsible for training people fully for specific work skills unless that work is in the public sector. That is the employer’s job, as it always was in the professions, trades and factory work. The state can help by avoiding disincentives.

        There is a problem when all employers tend to be very small businesses, as in nurseries. So qualifications in early years childcare are usually taught at local post-16 colleges to a level that will allow young people to gain employment in that area, on which they can build while in a job.

        It is tiresome and doubtless bad for growth that so many ordinary jobs now require formal qualifications. They are introduced “to raise standards” but they also have a socio-economic purpose. Qualifications restrict entry into these ordinary jobs. This limits the labour pool and should drive up relative wages. Restricting entry does wonders for the pay of accountants, lawyers and nurses. Extending it to those in traditionally low-paid jobs is therefore a very effective form of “pre-distribution” , in the sense of narrowing pre-tax inequality.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

          I trust you’ll have no objection when people become unemployable because they lack the qualifications needed to work in low-paid jobs and lack the money needed to acquire the education they need.

          • outsider
            Posted September 30, 2012 at 11:04 am | Permalink

            Dear Uanime5,
            That was essentially the argument used in principle against having a minimum wage. I don’t buy it. Ever heard of apprenticeships?

  19. Iain
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:45 am | Permalink

    I cannot believe John Redwood be so dense as to write an article like this, and it is extremely worrying that people so incapable of seeing the issues from British peoples perspective are our legislators.

    Did John Redwood see Newsnight last night ?

  20. Matthew
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:46 am | Permalink

    Sometimes the simplest things are best. Instead of arguing whether benefits should be increased by CPI or RPI, freezing benefits would have saved north of £10bn?

    When you think that the benefit bill has increased by over 40% in a decade, it doesn’t seem too bad.

    If you are looking to induce more people into work, this seems the obvious way.
    Many workers on low income have seen their pay frozen decreased.
    Another problem is that there are so many poverty pressure groups out there, and they are constantly redefining poverty. It’s in their interests to do this.
    Making poverty difficult to shake off.

  21. D K McGregor
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:13 am | Permalink

    I am pleased to see you are taking an interest in the NEST proposals , you have rightly spotted that they are just a new tax on employment . Will politicians ever learn that taxing employment is a bad thing? I would be obliged if you could ,at every opportunity , explain to the employees who believe that this will benefit them that this will cost them only , as the money paid to the government on their behalf comes out of a pot labelled “cost of your labour”. Whether the cash will be there when required is quite another story.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:58 pm | Permalink

      Surely they aren’t just a tax on employment if the fund buys proper assets (not govt bonds) and members build up a fund for their old age ?

      I think NEST is ill conceive but isn’t it desirable for the majority of people to be compelled to make provision for their old age ?

      Unless this is done how are we ever going to facilitate a correction of accommodation prices and everything else within our economy ?

      Do you think that the current 100% unfunded pay-as-you-go arrangement is better ?

      • a-tracy
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:08 pm | Permalink

        Give the private paye sector workers their employer’s 13.8% contribution back and they’ll have the money to make their own pension provision.

      • JimF
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:27 pm | Permalink

        People on low earnings would probably do better putting money into an ISA where they could access it and not suffer punitive charges.

        • A different Simon
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 12:10 am | Permalink

          JimF ,

          No argument there , current pensions options available to the majority in the private sector are completely inadequate .

          My biggest gripe with John Hutton was that the scope of his review was too narrow and that it should have included pension provision for everyone .

          My second biggest gripe with him was all he delivered was the kludge the politicians were looking for (which is why they gave him the job) which would allow everything to continue more or less unchanged .

          The last government didn’t want to tackle this issue and come up with working solutions and this one doesn’t either .

          Years and years go by and nothing happens .

          This is what convinces me that the public sector pensions have to be scrapped . If they were the civil servants would soon come up with a scheme which could be available to everyone which would actually work .

          • sm
            Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:17 pm | Permalink

            Public pensions should be capped! Including in that cap all other state-funded bodies whatsoever!

            So that would include quangos, banks etc taking public support!

  22. Faustiesblog
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:20 am | Permalink

    “Why is London increasingly serviced by people who have recently come here and may be going back when they have earned enough money?”

    Because that Romanian doesn’t have the expenses that the local population has. He probably doesn’t even pay council tax. His expenses in Romania are easily covered by his UK wages.
    Plus, it’s unlikely that his family lives with him in the UK. So our Romanian can doss anywhere.

  23. John B
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:31 am | Permalink

    “The question is why do some of the longer term unemployed who have lived here all their lives not find the many service jobs available of interest for them?”

    Answer = the Welfare State.

    Solution = stop it.

    Two thins motivate us: hardship; ambition. For most it is a combination of both in differing mix depending on time of life.

    Those on welfare have no ambition otherwise they would not be on welfare – see your Romanian driver – nor can they be suffering any hardship otherwise they would work.

    • ChrisXP
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:17 pm | Permalink

      “Those on welfare have no ambition”
      Er, not always true. My son, who got his degree two years ago, wishes to get a software programming job but so far no luck. He’s also got a mental impairment which requires daily medication and he claims DLA. He has to word his CV and his interviews carefully because he feels his condition would put him at a severe disadvantage with prospective employers. There are also certain types of jobs that he can’t cope with. No ambition? I hardly think so. Not all welfare claimants are lazy layabouts; some have other problems to contend with.

      • John B
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

        Well, it is always possible to pick an exceptional case to try to dismiss an argument. So let us stay with the general rather than an atypical example.

        That would be those who enjoy a life on welfare, an increasing portion of the population.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:29 pm | Permalink

          Given that you couldn’t provide any examples to back up your welfare-lifer claims it’s clear that you’re just making things up and dismissing inconvenient facts.

        • Jerry
          Posted September 30, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

          @John B: “it is always possible to pick an exceptional case to try to dismiss an argument.

          Indeed it is Mr B, and you are very good at doing so!

    • uanime5
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:19 pm | Permalink

      It’s hard to have any ambition when the only jobs you can get are menial, low paid, and have no promotion prospects. No one is going to stack shelves for 40 years.

      Also removing the welfare state to increase hardship won’t increase people’s ambition. It will just result in them becoming homeless and turning to crime.

      • John B
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:47 am | Permalink

        People with ambition may start out stacking shelves but do not spend 40 years of their life doing it – those who lack ambition do.

        You did not read what I wrote, I said prime motivators are hardship and ambition, not that the former would lead tot he latter – that is a straw man you set up – but hardship does stimulate action, ie work particularly if the other driver, ambition, is lacking.

        • Bob
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 7:14 pm | Permalink

          @John B
          Any able bodied person taking money from the state should be required to work for it, even if it’s just street cleaning.

          Autumn is upon us and we will end up knee deep in dead leaves shortly, the leaves will become wet and form a dangerous compacted slippery layer on the pavements.

          How difficult can it be to issue carts and brooms to the welfare bludgers and get them to do something to justify their benefit payments?

          I’m sure there are many such unskilled tasks that need doing so we should get the idle freeloaders into the work habit.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:35 pm | Permalink

          Unless the place you’re stacking shelves for has any better jobs you’re capable of doing then you’re likely to remain stacking shelves for 40 years.

          I did read what your wrote and your claim was that increasing hardship, ie removing welfare, would fix the problem you claim existed. You also stated that those on welfare lacked ambition, so it’s reasonable to assume that your argument is that increasing the hardship the unemployed suffer by removing welfare will somehow increase their ambition to work. I pointed out that your claim was false as hardship won’t stimulate action or ambition.

          Reply: Local supermarkets in mty area have an excellent record of training and promotoing people within their organisation and providing a career structure.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      The usual ignorant ‘nasty party’ rhetoric, do as you say and the only increase in employment that will be seen is in soup kitchens and undertakers – oh and perhaps street cleaners clearing away “Cardboard City” every few days.

      You seem to forget that this taxi driver lives on the very minimum necessary (as John pointed out) and then sends the bulk of his earnings on to his home country were its value increased due to the exchange rate – this person would not be in the UK doing what he does if we were all in the single currency or the exchange rate was unfavourable. He can afford to work and live for a wage that would see any UK national and their family reliant on the benefits you wish to see removed only because of this favourable exchange rate. Ambition is irrelevant, many unemployed are ambitious but because they are on benefits many can’t do much about fulfilling those dreams.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:32 am | Permalink

      What does the ‘B’ stand for John? In your case brainless. Lets make you more desperate in order to increase your ambition. Preferably in Romania.

  24. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I don’t know if you saw Jeremy Paxman’s programme on Newsnight about the exploitation of (mainly Romanian) hotel workers. In the case of EU immigrants, the minimum wage rules are being circumvented by classifying employed people as self employed and paying them on a piecework basis, e.g. number of rooms cleaned. Assume for the moment that it’s just about legal. Can it be countered?

    One method is to get rid of the minimum wage but it’s probably no use doing that for British workers unless you also reduce their unemployment pay. Politically, it’s a loser.

    The second method is to assert the simple truth, that Romanians are foreigners and should be subject to immigration control. But to do that we need to amend one of the EU treaty Accession Acts (not to mention a challenge in one of the European courts).

    We have to face the fact that it’s a combination of the minimum wage and the circumvention of it, the free movement of labour from relatively poor countries into the UK, and their lack of entitlement to benefits, that has caused the problem.

    The way that we run our country is positively designed to deny jobs to British workers.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:56 pm | Permalink

      This points to the need to make the minimum wage applicable to anyone doing piece work. This would close the door on many of the fiddles that allow immigrants to be employed on low wages.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:05 pm | Permalink

      My Sister was attacked by a male illegal immigrant co-worker whilst working for one of the biggest hotel chains in the country .

      The police botched the case and he went free but went back to Algeria .

      The chain in question would not recognise anyone as permanent until they had worked 12 months and until you were permanent you weren’t entitled to any holiday ; paid or otherwise .

      The proprietor of the hotel chain was given a knighthood .

      Would these (people-ed) treat their own children the way they treat other peoples ?

      • sm
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:26 pm | Permalink

        Employers have a vicarious liability for employee’s actions.. consider an ambulance chasing lawyer. Probably get a settlement, as he how did he pass basic checks?

        These cases should attract immediate prosecution of the employer and the directors personally just over illegal employment laws.

        How many director prosecutions/convictions and or large fines has there been for this offence?

        Another example how the law is selectively applied.

  25. Neil Craig
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

    If you think it important to limit immigration, particularly permanent immigration which is clearly not your driver’s intent, it is necessary to make sure welfare is not too high to discourage Briysh workers seeking British jobs. A lot of opponents of immigration miss this point.

    • Robert Taggart
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:25 pm | Permalink

      It is not that benefits are too high, rather, it is that working does not pay enough to cover the loss of benefits AND leave us enough to enjoy life. It is just not worth the bovver !

      A quiet, simple, comfortable life – on benefits – suits us just fine !

  26. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:49 am | Permalink

    If we reduced benefits but as quid pro quo limited the unskilled working population to indiginous people only, then we’d have a proper disparity between the incomes of low earners and the unemployed – wages wouldn’t be depressed by the extra competition and there’d be jobs for all.

    Your ‘cheap’ taxi driver works out very expensive indeed. The driver’s wages are sent out of the country. Your taxes went to paying one unemployed British driver his benefits and your fare was still high enough to finance a foreign property investor’s portfolio.

    Bargain ! (not)

    (PS, I’ve had many a cheerful British cabby. )

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:50 am | Permalink

      PS – How do we know that all of this driver’s tax was being declared ?

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:17 pm | Permalink

      I haven’t cheerful or otherwise for a long time !

      I still remember the last indigenous British taxi driver at Woking Surrey station .

      He was a sole trader and everyone called him “Westie” and his last car was a MKV Cortina . That is how long ago it was .

      The immigrant Asian taxi-drivers all held him affectionately in high esteem because he was the last of the breed .

      Before even Tony Blair came to office .

    • Jerry
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:29 pm | Permalink

      Sorry Kevin but I have read that several times and I just can’t make head or tail of it, you talk of “unskilled working population to indiginous people only”, did you mean just work – ..limit unskilled work to indiginous people only.. – if so your comments make sense and there is some sense to the idea, except I fear that we would need to leave the EU before we could discriminate towards our own population!

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 1:21 am | Permalink

        Jerry – We have (by some estimates) up to five million people of working age out of work.

        Under these circumstances we should not be importing unskilled labour. In other words we ought to have a proper points system. As it turns out, the countries that operate strict points systems are fairing better than Britain.

        Reduce benefits by all means. But free up the jobs and the housing too.

  27. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:05 am | Permalink

    The race to the bottom in wages in conditions – but I don’t blame the individuals concerned for wanting to make a better life for themselves. So much for the vision of the ‘high skill, high tech’ economy politicians used to talk about.

    Mr Redwood’s story may partly explain why despite ‘1 million new jobs’ being created, the GDP figures remain largely static. The treasury coffers aren’t exactly bulging either as many migrants can claim back most of the tax they have paid by leaving and then returning to the UK. I know this happens from discussions I have had with employers.

    http://www.hmrc.gov.uk/cnr/p85.pdf (soft touch UK Government even provides a handy form online) .
    How can it be possible to adequately check the hundreds of thousands of forms submitted when the questions are as vague as ‘when do you expect to return to the Uk’ ?.
    If the driver is resident for less than 183 days and has no properties holdings he can simply claim non resident status.

    Ofcourse the BBC and the rich Londoner’s like this state of affairs as it means cheaper taxi fares and a better service through competition. Politicians love to boast about x ‘new jobs’ being created. They make no distinction between genuine new jobs (of which there are sadly very few) and those that simply undercut existing ones.

    As others have said, how can native Londoner’s compete that have rent and council tax to pay and do not wish to live in a single room . They would be better off on welfare financially than attempting to compete.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:01 pm | Permalink

      Steven W – It doesn’t even mean cheap taxi fares. (See my previous comment)

      Benefits is but one side of the problem. The *open* economy is the other.

      Both have been abject failures – each over compensating for the other. If you want the proof of this then you need only look at the parlous state of our economy and its dire global performance.

      I get the impression from Mr Redwood’s post that he wants more ‘stick’ applied on the work issue.

      Even I (as a lifelong Tory voter but never again) would not see that as fair.

      If John Redwood is not going to put British workers first (whatever their colour) then what is the point of John Redwood ?

      Reply: I just described a reality. I have written before on the need to tackle immigration more successfully.

      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 9:08 pm | Permalink

        Electro -Kevin .Many of the building trades have seen falls in the rates paid as a direct result of more competition from imported labour. Although private hire licences are heavily regulated by local government, it stands to reason that downward pressure on driver wages must have some bearing on customer charges…unless they are fixed rates set by London City Council ?

        I do accept your point though, that overall we are no better off as taxes have to cover the cost of supporting workers , unwilling or unable to compete in the more competitive job market.

      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 1:45 am | Permalink

        Mr Redwood – Sorry. I winced when I re-read my comment there. I could have put it better.

        Steven – We are much worse off in fact. The country is buckling under welfare and general govt costs.

        I have no issue with importing skilled workers where needed. A points system as in Australia for example.

        There is a vast difference between a healthy and ‘competitive’ market and the deliberate abandonment of the people by their own political class and for something which is a totally false economy.

        (PS – Mr Redwood. Re the original post. I expect the Romanian did grumble about his lot at one point. That’s why he’s come here. I only do my grumbling on blogs and that’s only because I can see what we’re in the process of giving away. Most people in my real life don’t even know that I speak, let alone have an opinion ! )

    • Jerry
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:46 pm | Permalink

      A million new jobs created but we are never told the worth of these jobs, nice headline and sound-bite for the media though, there could be a million new jobs but if they are zero contract with nothing more than 16 hours being ‘promised’ -meaning the hours could be far less or non at all- (as seems usual for certain retail sector jobs) or temporary -one week at a time agency- jobs, both paying the NMW then there really isn’t anything to shout home about and nor is the cost of benefits to the government going to reduce much – and most likely not at all now that the minimum hours for working tax credits is 30 hours [1], the only people likely to take the work are those who were not claiming in the first place, partners of those already in full time work who want to help pay the bills or get back into employment.

      [1] this must be the most crass decision that IDS and the DWP made, totally counter-productive, I can only think that it was made for governmental reasons (pressure from HMT) or to look tough for internal Tory party consumption

  28. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:19 am | Permalink


    Nice work if you can get it!

  29. Daniel Thomas
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:25 am | Permalink

    I think what everyone is hinting at is that welfare benefits are too generous and the minimum wage is too low making the transition from welfare to work a money loser.

    Any vacancies that do come up can be filled by immigrants who will work for poor wages because they are still better off than in their home countries.

    The new cap on welfare payments is a start but its too generous. Its common sense to me that nobody on welfare should earn more than someone working for the minimum wage.

    • David John Wilson
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:02 pm | Permalink

      Before we worry about the minimum wage there needs to be a clamp down on the many fiddles that allow people, particularly immigrants to work for less than the minimum wage. This includes piece work, accomodation charges, etc.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Well if minimum wage was a living wage, say 60% of the average wage, then you’d find people far more willing to work because they’d be able to afford a decent quality of life.

      The problem is more to do with wages being too low than benefits being too generous.

      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:58 pm | Permalink

        Total nonsense.
        Then a cleaner or taxi driver would be paid on a par with supervisors and lower managers. So to maintain pay incentives pay scales would have to go up across the board …pushing up average wages which would ramp up inflation, drive down competitivness…. increase unemployment…

        • uanime5
          Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

          Comparing those who are self employed to those who are employed by a company is a false argument.

          As the average wage is £27,000 60% of it would be £16,200; hardly the wage of a supervisor or lower management.

          Given that many countries in the EU have better wages than their UK equivalent but are far more competitive and have less unemployment it’s clear that your doomsday scenario is pure fantasy.

      • David John Wilson
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 2:35 pm | Permalink

        I think you mean 60% of the mean wage rather than 60% of the average wage.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:57 pm | Permalink

      If you think that ~ £70 odd pw is “too generous” to stop people starving or dying of hypothermia then you are not living on the same planet as the unemployed or anyone with a clue.

    • Bob
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:20 pm | Permalink

      @Daniel Thomas
      ” Its common sense to me that nobody on welfare should earn more than someone working for the minimum wage.”

      Sounds reasonable.
      The welfare system is no sustainable at current levels, it acts as a disincentive for people to find work.

      Also instead of cash hand outs, Australia has a “Basics Card”, which is like a welfare funded pre-loaded charge card which can be used to buy basic necessities. It makes it harder for feckless parents to blow their benefits of booze, ciggies and drugs.

      • Jerry
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 8:25 am | Permalink

        @Bob: What is the term for inverted Communism?…

  30. Michael Read
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    You missed something. Why is he and 7m other individuals here anyway?

  31. JimF
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 11:42 am | Permalink

    Great to see a “real world” post.
    This is absolutely correct and you are right to call NEST an employee/employer tax. Working for cash has rarely been more attractive.

  32. outsider
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:31 pm | Permalink

    Dear Mr Redwood,
    Many of us have had similar experiences.
    Ant time, anywhere migrants and ex-pat workers are a self-selecting group. Those who go to a strange country where they have no family connections need to have above-average initiative and courage (as well as an above-average interest in making money). These are people business always wants.

    Those coming to the UK from poorer countries will also have a lower “reserve wage” if you will forgive the jargon. They are not (at least to start with) receiving UK social security so it pays them to work for less than it would a native. That is not an easy issue to deal with.

    Once a colony is established, however, the inflow of enterprising folk is supplemented by those just escaping from problems back home or merely beguiled by tales of the soft life ( as Mike Stallard testifies). That is when immigration becomes a real negative for a country like Britain. Even harder problem n the EU context.

    And we have other obligations. I do hope the Government is preparing across the board for an influx of Christian and other refugees from Syria in genuine fear of their lives. Or perhaps just hoping they will flee to France.

  33. peter davies
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 12:54 pm | Permalink

    Its the two bad sides of the double edged sword, both centre around the welfare state (described on this blog) and thus has made many lazy. Give someone a similar monthly allowance to stay off work to what they could earn then its plain obvious that many will take the easy route, IDS knows this full well but he’s had to use a softly softly understanding approach so he isn’t painted as a ‘nasty tory’

    I’m sure as a politician but you probably cannot come out and say it for fear of the usual smears from labour etc, if you make life too easy for people they become lazy and lose that edge. This is where the Eastern Europeans come in – they have experienced real hardship so many bring with them that edge and work ethic to succeed, something which is missing from too many people in the UK (especially youngsters always clock watching)

    • Jerry
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Your ideology only works when there is near total full employment, you can’t expect people to find no existent work, this is what people like IDS understands. Yes your ideology would be seen as the nasty party, and many Tories would see it to and understand – Blair didn’t win the 1997 election, the Tories lost it, they only won the 1992 election off the back of another party leader making a fool of himself and the first Gulf war.

      Why the government doesn’t speed up deregulation escapes me, there are many areas that could either be sent packing or eased, this and a little mentioning (from the DWP, the HMRC, UK enterprise and perhaps even the accountancy industry) could see many of the current long term unemployed at least attempting to work for themselves.

      Forget the stick for now, first their needs to be a visible and viable carrot…

  34. Mactheknife
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:06 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately after years of Labour government policies and interference from the EU we find that we have a class of unemployed who feel it is their right to state handouts for doing nothing. I work in London and I too have noticed that recent immigrants find work pretty easily particularly in the service industries. Why are our long term unemployed not placed into these roles or face losing benefits ? Its because our benefit payments are so high and government cowardice. A recent example is a friend of a friend who gave up his job at Tesco because he only earned £20 per month extra than his benefits. In this case I would stop all benefits if the person has voluntarily given up a job.

    The left argue that “there are no jobs” – I’ve heard this a million times. However my wife (who is a qualified Chef) recently wanted to return to work after the children had left school. There were no vacancies around where we live for her skills but she rang round various places one afternoon and got a job as a cleaner – it took a couple of hours to do this !! She was then offered another cleaning job a couple of days later when the organisation said they had 8 vacancies but only 3 applications from the job centre !!

    The UK is a soft touch and everyone knows it, but we’ve allowed the discourse to be driven by the bleeding heart liberals and the Conservatives do……..well….. nothing.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:55 pm | Permalink

      If you remove all benefits when people voluntarily leave their job then don’t expect the unemployed to ever apply for jobs out of fear that they may they lose their benefits. The more punishments people face it they lose their jobs the less incentive people have to get jobs in the first place.

      This might surprise you but not everyone want to be a cleaner or work for as little as possible. Some people want to work in retail or an office, both of which are nearly impossible to get by simply phoning around.

  35. Robert Taggart
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

    Oneself has always wondered why people work, but, as a recipient of their (or rather their ‘masters’) largesse – one be most grateful !

    Why do immigrants do the jobs us natives will not ? – simples – they have grown up elsewhere expecting little and will settle for less than us over here !

    Question. Should those who do the more menial jobs not be paid handsome bonuses for doing such ? Maybe then, some of us home grown scroungers will ‘mend our ways’ ?!

    • uanime5
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:27 pm | Permalink

      Immigrants are prepared to do menial tasks because the salary they’re paid in the UK is several times what they would make in their own country. If you doubled or trebled the salaries for menial tasks you’d soon see more natives willing to do them.

      • Robert Taggart
        Posted September 30, 2012 at 1:21 pm | Permalink

        Indeedy, but, some of us would still require help…
        to lose weight, to get fit, to tune our mind !…

  36. Leslie Singleton
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:24 pm | Permalink

    It remains a mystery to me why employers should have to be involved at all in pensions, maternity leave et cetera and of course why anyone would think it makes sense for them to have to pay NI and much else besides. If I were in charge, especially with everybody screaming for growth, every singly iota of these burdens would be lifted off employers’ shoulders. I have BTW never been an employer and personally would never even consider being one the way things are.

  37. NickW
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:32 pm | Permalink

    The probability is that your taxi driver was not paying tax on at least part of his earnings, and that is how he can make work pay.

    The ethos in the (ex)communist countries was that the Government steals off the citizen and it is only right that the citizen steals it back. (as told to me by a Ukrainian University lecturer).

    Taxation is what destroys the will to work and it is taxation that is going to destroy western economies. All we hear from Europe (and now the USA), is “Tax rises”, and the results are self evident. Spending cuts, (as in the UK) have been derisory.

    I simply cannot believe that Mr Osborne is going to give in to Clegg and make taxation punitive, when the results of such a policy can already be seen in Greece.

    If the rewards of work are confiscated by the State, people won’t work, whether they be the richest or the poorest.

    Reply He should be paying UK tax, and I have no rreason to assume otherwise. He is working for a BCC contractor company after all. Surely the BBC checks these things, given its corporate views on the need to pay taxes.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

      ” He is working for a BCC contractor company after all. Surely the BBC checks these things…”

      “Illegal immigrants have been discovered working as cleaners at the House of Commons – an embarrassing security breach at the supposedly tightly guarded building.

      All staff at the Palace of Westminster are required to undergo stringent background checks by police and the security services before being issued passes to the heart of Britain’s Government.”


    • zorro
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:30 pm | Permalink

      John, I doubt that the BBC will check it. They will rely on the taxi firm doing it as the firm is the employer and the BBC is receiving a service. I would think that your taxi driver will be ‘self employed’. Under UK law it is the responsibility of the employer (the company who pays the employee) to check immigration status. The BBC will classify itself as the recipient of a service……..


    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:41 pm | Permalink

      Plenty of reputable firms employ other firms that are abusing the tax and immigration system. I know first hand that (a named organisation ed), for instance, are breaking allsorts of tax, immigration, and other rules and regulations, yet even when its been proven they always seem to get away with it. I have come to the conclusion there is something corrupt at the top of our society there is no other explanation for it.

      • sm
        Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:37 pm | Permalink

        Selective application of the law.

        Perhaps we should reward whistle-blowers with 10% of the fines imposed on companies concerned? We would need laws to enable the private sector to deliver the prosecutions the government are not prepared to fund.

        The wrongdoing companies/individuals would effectively pay for the funding and it could be a private sector solution to deter illegal economic migration.

  38. stan francis
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 1:45 pm | Permalink

    Good intentions?-more like vote catching u mean except Tory doesn’t make it so obvious as Labour did. Whilst this man/taxi driver and others continues, the economy continues to sink with money going out of the country-More stupidity from ABOVE comes in killing BADGERS, that farmers say they can immunise effectively without slaughter, same people making decisions no doubt at Number 10 the Looney Home for those that feel that they are God on a BIKE THAT need their clips taking off ’em?

    • The PrangWizard
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:54 pm | Permalink

      Would you please identify the farmers who say that badgers can be immunised effectively? Do you speak with authority, or is it just an emotional reaction? Have you caught a diseased badger and given it an injection, or seen it done? It can’t be done effectively. I think I know who is the looney. Do you know how much compensation is given to farmers who have had to have their cattle slaughtered, so that the likes of you can be protected? I suppose you ignore this cost in your analysis. Some people do need to grow out of their childish fantasies.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 28, 2012 at 8:33 pm | Permalink

      Nice rational argument – not. What always amazes me is that these people always protest about killing the pest but care nothing about the poor Bovine that usually has to be killed anyway, an animal of far more value.

      I blame it all on Kenneth Grahame and A. A. Milne…

    • uanime5
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:58 pm | Permalink

      What’s amusing is that the Government is prepared to slaughter up to 70% of badgers to protect cattle from TB but won’t ban pesticides to protect bees.

  39. Bert Young
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 2:07 pm | Permalink

    Near where I live there is a hand car wash operated by Bulgarians . They are efficient , relatively cheap and , always welcoming and cheerful . The only competition is from automatic/machine car wash facilities at filling stations . They are always busy and operate in all sorts of wind and weather . Presumably there is nothing to stop young Brits doing the same . In Switzerland all the menial and labouring jobs are done by foreigners ; the locals consider it is “beneath them” to do this sort of work . We have exactly the same work ethic outlook as in Switzerland , so , it is no surprise that Dr.JR was driven to the BBC by a Romanian . The welfare state has ruined what determination and integrity there used to be with our manual workers ; the ridiculous minimum wage restriction was one of the last straws.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:01 pm | Permalink

      So you believe that people would be willing to work in menial and labouring jobs if they were paid less than minimum wage. Given that they won’t do these jobs for minimum wage I doubt they’ll do them for less.

  40. REPay
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

    I believe to make a real contribution to the UK economy you have to be earning over 40k per annum. I believe that some low paid workers become citizens and then bring their dependents…so there are multiple expenses so set against minimal tax take.

    However, lets set against these costs the fact that it shows what a tolerant and generous people we are. I don’t if FCO policy has changed, I hope so under the sensible Mr Hague, but I recall for a decade that the UK had no interests only “values”.

  41. uanime5
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:02 pm | Permalink

    John the reason for this is simple. The amount paid to work in London is a pittance if you live in the UK but a fortune if your live in Romania. So after working for several years the Romanian can go back to Romania and live in a large house with a decent standard of living; while the person in the UK will have in a dead end job all their life, live in a small flat, and have a poor standard of living. Is it any wonder so few people are willing to work when all they’ll have to show for it is a menial existence.

    In other news poor supervision by the DWE means that large scale fraud was missed:

    Also rail companies are making millions by getting compensation for late trains and not passing it onto their customers:

    Reply: If a UK person takes a less good job, it may well lead on to a better. job. It is easier to get a job from a job. If my choice was to drive for a living or stay at home unemployed I would choose to do the driving. Then I would want to work my way up to helping manage the taxi firm or buying my own car to drive etc

    • Bazman
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 8:42 am | Permalink

      You would go back the Romanian and live in a better house like a Romanian ie growing your own vegetables and getting by on selling whatever you do not eat. You would not own the land however. Do you think the prices of consumer goods are cheaper in Romania or a can of coca cola is ‘cheap’. Interesting to see who thinks anything is cheap there. Like what for example? Fags and Romanian vodka is, but not much else. You would live like a bloody peasant there. Make no mistake.

    • Jerry
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:45 am | Permalink

      Re Reply: John I think what you might mean is that employers prefer to take on people who are already in employment? On the other hand it is not always easy to move from one job to another unless there is an element of head-hunting, in other words it can be a problem for hourly paid staff, those working fixed hours, to actually get interviews. Remember that unless an employee ‘pulls a sicky’, to get legitimate time off it might have to be booked weeks in advance, assuming that holiday periods are not at the bequest of the company (shut down periods). Obviously those in senior management, some salaried staff, those who have more control over their hours (such as flexi-time) or the shift worker do have the advantage.

    • RDM
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 11:06 am | Permalink

      “Reply: If a UK person takes a less good job, it may well lead on to a better. job. It is easier to get a job from a job. If my choice was to drive for a living or stay at home unemployed I would choose to do the driving. Then I would want to work my way up to helping manage the taxi firm or buying my own car to drive etc ”

      Your idea would only work if you allow wages to drop, so you would be better off working? But at what point would you start considering the cost of living?

      Taxi company’s don’t want you to “work your way up”, they want cheap drivers!

      You’d be better off fixing the concentrated Energy, Media, Banking, etc … markets! And Entry into these!



      Taxis are licensed, the market is saturated, you will not be Entering that market easily!

    • sm
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 3:48 pm | Permalink

      JR what makes you think you would even get a look-in. You would be over-qualified, or lack relevant recent experience in driving or possessing a particular car. Then you might just want to operate within the law and that could cause more problems.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:28 pm | Permalink

      John there are a few problem with your argument.

      1) While working you’ll be less available to search for better jobs or attend interviews.

      2) If the difference in income between the less good job and unemployment is minor then there’s little incentive to take the less good job because it provides very few short term benefits. The prospect of possible better long term benefits is generally a poor inducement.

      3) If the less good job seems unlikely to lead to a better job then people have less incentive to work in it. For example most people have no idea whether working as a cleaner, shop assistant, chef, or in data entry roles will lead to better work or better paid versions of the same work.

      4) The job may not provide you with any useful skills or be in an area you wish to remain in. For example not everyone who works in a shop wishes to remain in retail. So the career opportunities it provides may not be beneficial.

      Regarding the taxi role most taxi companies usually require that their employees own their own transport and work as independent contractors (this means they’re not employees of the company). This is so that the taxi company is not responsible for maintaining the cars and don’t have to offer the taxi drivers any benefits (holiday pay, sick pay, or maternity leave). The role of the taxi company is to get requests for taxis and pass these requests onto their contractors (taxi drivers), the taxi drivers then pick up the person and take them to their destination. The taxi driver makes money from their customer and the taxi company makes money by providing clients for the taxi driver.

      I guess setting up your own taxi firm would be a progression but doing admin work in the taxi company isn’t the goal of most taxi drivers.

  42. RDM
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    If DC is truly a Conservative then he must realise how badly he is doing?

    I’m starting believe an early Election will be better?


    If there is a Lib/Lab coalition after, then they will have to deal with the on-going Euro mess, and the inability to spend their way out of this mess!

    If the Conservative are too win, then they will have to broaden their appeal:

    – Removing many layers of Government, stop doing deals behind Peoples backs! The Welsh Ref, was 53% for, but with a turn out of 38%. 24% of Welsh People wanted the Assembly! Many (Most) people refused to vote! Next we have Law making! Can we really? I’d prefer to share Sovereignty, Power, and Resources within Westminster! Tell DC that this is even stated within the Magna Carta! Power to oversee the Monarch is shared by 4 Welsh Princes, and a bloke from Pembroke. The rest are English.

    – Banking reform (including new types of Bank), an Enterprise culture, not just consumption based start-ups, but Technology development! Banks know nothing about Risk Vs Value, especially within a Technology development project! What’s needed is long term finance, not asset backed lending (Peoples Homes)! This has to be done centrally, because Politicians within the Regions (especially with Devolution) will block it!

    – Talk about a new relationship between the State and the People (it’s no good taking away benefits, without there actually being jobs or Contracts available (there is NOT!). People must know how too go about building a life for themselves! Remember; you Politicians created this dependency culture!

    – Europe Ref.
    – Look at the Separation of Powers, there is none! The Lord Chief Justice should have retired years ago! Possible Lords reform (evolution) blocking PR, promoting people of merit!
    – Bill of Rights.
    etc … Lots of fundamental stuff to engage the People with!



  43. Max Dunbar
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 4:57 pm | Permalink

    Don’t assume that the BBC checked this driver out (especially insurance). Beware State Broadcasters bearing gifts to Right wing politicians.

  44. Normandee
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:17 pm | Permalink

    The situation is bad, and not just regards immigration, we appear to be in or approaching crisis in many areas, and why ? because nobody that is supposed to be representing us will break step and risk their comfortable position to try and get us in a similar comfortable position. This is crazy because sooner or later it’s all going to to go t**s up then we will all be in the same uncomfortable place, they off course will have a “gold plated 5 times the value” pension to ease their pain, and we will have to continue paying it whilst listening to “I told you so” and be awash with crocodile tears.
    There is no point in continually reminding what is wrong, do something about it or fail trying, otherwise STFU.

  45. Vanessa
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:22 pm | Permalink

    The trouble with this story is that it puts virtually nothing into the British economy. He works and sends nearly all his money home , so it is taken out of our economy. The landlord probably does the same so where is their contribution to the British economy?
    Don’t tell me they pay tax !!! I don’t believe it.

  46. Jon
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 5:52 pm | Permalink

    Yes, buy a coffee in central London and most likely it will be a eastern European serving you and a fantastic job they do.

    Putting aside the usual subjects the Evening Standard has been running a campaign for home grown apprentices. It appears that there are young eager to work people who cannot get those jobs because they go to the immigrants. I know the stereotype is not without some justification but it seems there is perhaps more to this problem. Perhaps the stereotype has become an assumption that all are lazy so none of our young are given a chance at all in migrant cities.

    NEST is a panic last resort of governments that got in wrong for so long, majority of that was Labour, not all though. Blaming NEST is a bit like blaming austerity for our problems when it was the over spending that happened before that was the problem. NEST is a very blunt instrument used because politicians messed up pension funding and advice availability for the masses.

  47. GaryD
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

    Most working people have to find their own way to their place of employment at their own expense. Many are forced to endure an overpriced, inefficient privatised railway system that feeds a gravy train of corporate welfare to banks and other private interests. That’s nice ‘work’ if you can get it.

  48. Iain Gill
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 6:35 pm | Permalink

    It’s the system, look at what happens to a Brit doing this, especially if they use “social” (subsidised) housing for their family.
    Now as soon as they start earning over the threshold they lose free school meals, free prescriptions, free bus to school for the kids, and so on a long list of perks which add up to a valuable package.
    If someone several hundred miles from London in the UK adopts a similar approach the numbers are stacked against them, the cost of travel to see the family occasionally is not taken into account when calculating their tax or benefits, they cannot offset the cost of B & B or renting a room in London, very soon they will be earning enough to mean they are not entitled to much benefits and because of the loss of perks and the lack of account of the cost of work (costs of travel and local accommodation etc.) they can quickly be out of pocket.
    Once signing themselves off benefits it can take a long time to start getting them again if they become entitled to them later. And anyone earning variable amounts may be entitled to benefits one month but not the next and so on, and it becomes a nightmare of admin.
    Then of course once they earn much if they manage to save above a small threshold their savings themselves mean that they are no longer entitled to a whole bunch of stuff.
    The system doesn’t make it easy.
    If you’re officially living in Glasgow or Newcastle but living in a B & B in London for work you will find you can get no elective NHS treatment in London – any operations/checkups/regular attention are all only available in Glasgow or Newcastle which for any working person with long term condition (say diabetic) makes it impossible in this country. If you move your registered address with the NHS you will lose your place in any queue. Again the state is organised for its benefit not the benefit of the citizens.
    Then of course many foreign nationals in London are entitled to the first 12 months of work national insurance (both employer and employee) free this is a massive discouragement from employing Brits.
    It’s the system, the incentives are not there, and it’s tough for decent people doing the right thing.

  49. Monty
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 7:50 pm | Permalink

    A different Simon:

    “I think NEST is ill conceive but isn’t it desirable for the majority of people to be compelled to make provision for their old age ?”

    Were you being satirical there?

    We have all been paying compulsory National Insurance contributions all our working lives. Our employers have been paying NI contributions for us all our working lives. And many of us have been paying in to defined contribution schemes that on retirement, are paying risibly low returns. Many people regret every penny they put into those, wishing they had simply built up their savings account instead. People can be excused for concluding that NI and pensions are confidence tricks on a grand scale.

    I agree that we must all be responsible for making provision for our old age. But why single out one phase of our lives like that? We should be responsible for making provision for our entire adult lives.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 11:03 am | Permalink

      No disagreement that private pensions have been awful . I think this has been another example of collusion between the Govt and financial services industry .

      I take your point about N.I. , my understanding is that it was meant to pay for the welfare state and health service as well as state pension .

      I would rather N.I. had been increased to a level which would put enough money into a ring fenced fund along the lines of a sovereign wealth fund to pay a livable primary pension (state pension) which rendered means tested benefits redundant before any money was directed to a secondary pension like NEST .

      This is cost neutral because otherwise you end up paying out the same amount of money in means tested benefits which penalise the responsible who chose to save rather than spend .

      The politicians should have sorted out the state pension before even looking at secondary pensions . They have gone about this back to front and created yet another initiative which will be scrapped a few years down the road .

      You are right that we should be responsible for making provisions for ourselves and if you treat adults as children they will never do that .

      However , realistically there are too many people who are unable or unwilling to play the game and we have established that in a civilised society it is unacceptable to have homeless people everywhere .

  50. Monty
    Posted September 28, 2012 at 10:31 pm | Permalink

    “He explained that he lived in a single room in East London. The house is owned by another Romanian with a mortgage. There are three bedrooms, all let out to Romanian workers. The landlord and his family live downstairs.”

    There is no shortage of people doing that in London. There are thousands of households with illegal bed-sheds, erected without planning permission, and mainly occupied by illegal immigrants.

    The solution is in the hands of government. Outlaw the employment and accomodation of people with no residence documents, and give the police and UKBA the power to raid suspect addresses without prior notice. And prosecute both parties, with the added jeopardy of deportation for foreign-born transgressors.

    • sm
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 12:31 am | Permalink

      Are you suggesting that official census/population records are incorrect? Maybe its another black swan swarm?

    • Christopher Ekstrom
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:33 pm | Permalink

      Good luck finding a ride! Good for nothing Englishman have always required beautiful & loud military screaming for inspiration. In other words ship them out young & put them to good use.

  51. Flats in London
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 1:06 am | Permalink

    Don’t assume that the BBC checked this driver out (especially insurance). Beware State Broadcasters bearing gifts to Right wing politicians.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:16 am | Permalink


  52. Barbara Stevens
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Mr R, I see your point, however, this man didn’t have the problem of a mortage, paying a full rent, council tax, etc, that’s a different ball game, as we all know full well. Paying for one room is not the same expense as a full house and family needs. We all know rents are inflated in London, but I ask ‘what is he doing here anyway, in the currant economic climate’. Haven’t we enough of our own unemployed without to find jobs for without letting foreigners in to take what there is. Its no good moaning about our unemployed if we continue to allow foreigners in to take what jobs there are. Yes, with more jobs our own should be made take them, not people from abroad. Please don’t quote the EU rules, I don’t accept their rule but my own governments rules only, I did not vote to be ruled from Brussels. We should ignore them and refuse entry to these people, however much they think they are wanted, they are not.
    Some people on your blog, make rude comments about the unemployed and call them scroungers, I hope they never have to suffer the indignaty of unemployment, like may have to take, its a moral demiser, and awful. Cutting benefits when needs are high is OK, but its the moral and outcome I worry over. We have already had riots on London’s streets, and pushing the poor to the limits could spark riots again. I’m all for work when its there to be taken, but lets face facts, for years many have had poor education and no follow up to improve their lot. We now see the results of this. People who cannot really read and write, cannot socialise properly without violence. There are lots of reasons, and we are all partly to blame. It is us who have allowed poor quality MPs to keep getting into government without looking at what they do. Until the expenses scandel, did anyone really bother to look? No, they did not. We all have faults, and its easy to down the people at the bottom of the pile, just hope those who demonise those at the bottom, don’t find themselves there too.

  53. Bazman
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:14 am | Permalink

    What you are seeing here is the peasants leaving the land and coming to the cities. They are desperate for sure. How do you think they live in a room and send money back to their families? The rest of the peasants without the drive for whatever reason stay in Romania? Maybe they are not desperate enough like here and need their benefits cut huh, numbskulls?
    As I have pointed out before. The East Europeans you see here are often young intelligent and here for sex and adventure. Other a bit older are here to improve their often destitute existence in the home countries and improve the lives of their children by living five to a room/car sharing sacks of pasta/rice and sending all the money back home doing whatever work that comes their way. Including in the case of woman, undercutting local prostitutes by far. The ones not like this exist, like they, do here in there own countries. Including amateur prostitution in the case of woman. Drinking to oblivion and seeing their lives as pointless and cheap. Pretty much like here. Dangerous to be a man in Russia look at the amount of crazy videos on the net involving Russians. Still with me numbskulls? Good. I’ll go on.
    Given the opportunity to work and increase immensely the living standards of themselves many British would do the same. However we are not destitute and living like peasants thanks to the welfare state and not many opportunities exist to treble the minimum wage.
    Do many seriously think in areas of high unemployment desperation will produce work and a fifty five year old man with three children made redundant from a state industry that he served for decades should go and live in a room in London in order to send food money home to his family neglecting his children? He has already worked in the call centre and that is now in India. The shop jobs are full, his wife works there. Few cleaning jobs and only a few hours a week fixing blokes like himself, still working, cars. His sons are competing against smart young Europeans worldly wise and well travelled with degrees. The service industries of the state are employing East Europeans with high qualifications in that industry and willing to live five to a room.
    British peasants living off the land, self sufficient and living the good life or working abroad like East Europeans? Whether you like it or not there is entitlement to certain living standards in this country even if you are not supported by the MCSSS. Ram it..

  54. David Langley
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 9:29 am | Permalink

    I truly believe that most of the really poor people who come here to find work are under the Government radar.
    If you are English born and registered you are trackable and easily gripped by the state. Some people may think its better to let the state pay to keep you than fight to get a job that allows the government to loot your pay. This mainly applies to non skilled workers or those rejected by the current jobs market who also have no ambitions or hopes for the future. I call these people NAAFI ratings (no ambition and F…all interest). “Making work pay “also sounds fine but uncomfortably close to “Work sets you free”. Now where have I heard that before?

  55. Martin woodhead
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 5:07 pm | Permalink

    So a uk citizen in the same boat would not be makeing there lives better by doing that.
    The sums just dont add

  56. Bazman
    Posted September 29, 2012 at 6:07 pm | Permalink

    Good spoofs of Jay Z’s 99 problems by Obama for all you young old gits on you tube.
    I have dream! I have a drone!

  57. Conrad Jones (Cheam)
    Posted October 10, 2012 at 8:59 pm | Permalink

    Why? Because the Government pays people not to work through: Housing Benefits, Child Benefits, Unemployment Benefit (“Job Seeker Allowance”), while Students who want to go to University and work have to borrow money because they have the Audacity to wish to contribute to Society and Small Businesses are equally discriminated against because they’re not big enough to make campaign contributions to their local MPs.

    David Cameron is right to gain applause for capping Housing Benefits, but he does not understand that the Government is the Issuer of Currency and therefore, can never go bankrupt. They can pay for anyone who qualifies for Higher Education and give them a Grant (just like the old days), this would invest in the future and pump money into the Economy. Students would leave as Graduates without debt, and would provide real optimism for the Future.

    This fixation on Deficits is misplaced as the Government is NOT like a household. A Household cannot issue it’s own currency. The Government can and is therefore not constrained except through inflation targets. Money is only a means of keeping score, Taxation is a means of reducing spending power if Inflation gets out of hand. Right now, we should be spending on Infrastructure, Education and Renewable Energies through Deficit Spending if required. The money is not backed by GOLD. It’s FIAT. The Bank of England Governor studied for his Econmics Degree in a Gold Standard World, which no longer exists. The EURO is much like a Gold Standard as it restricts Economic Policy and turns the Govenrment into a “user of currency” instead of an “issuer of currency”.

    Whatever Interest Payments are required can be serviced by simply issuing new Treasury Bonds. Once the Economy Recovers, we should then just issue the Currency Directly as Treasury Bonds have been used to destroy Economies.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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