Don’t blame migrants

Jon Danzig |

Migrants are a boon for Britain, not a burden.

And Britons, we should be thankful that migrants are here. They create jobs.

There are 37,000 foreign-owned businesses in the UK, hiring large numbers of people. Indeed, 7% of foreign-owned businesses in Britain employ 250 people or more, compared with just 0.2% of UK-owned businesses.

Without migrants, companies, and organisations, such as the NHS, could not fill all their jobs. That’s because Britain has millions more jobs than Britons to do them.

There are around 6 million foreign-born workers in the UK, paying taxes, spending money here, and contributing hugely to our Treasury and country.

If they all left, who’d do all the jobs they vacate? Certainly not Britons, there’s not enough of us.

Why do we have a shortage of workers?

Because we have a rapidly growing older population, a declining birth rate, relatively low unemployment, a record number of people at work, and record numbers of unfilled job vacancies.

Add those ingredients together and it’s no wonder that we need migrants, and lots of them.

There’s no evidence that migrants have a significant impact on wages at the lower end of the scale, but some evidence that migrants can help to increase salaries at the higher end of the scale.

Britain also has a chronic skills gap; we simply don’t have enough qualified doctors, dentists, nurses, builders, architects, scientists, etc.

Yes, we could – and should – upskill more British workers. But that alone wouldn’t increase the size of our indigenous workforce, and it’s the size of our workforce that’s the problem.

Britons who gain higher qualifications displace jobs they vacate in other sectors, which would still need filling. And by whom?

There are other solutions to the problem of not enough workers.

  • We could encourage Britons to have more children. But it would take at least 20 years for them to join the workforce. 
  • We could accept having a smaller economy. But that would mean Britain and Britons being poorer, with companies unable to continue trading, causing high unemployment.

We don’t have more migrants than the country needs. Most migrants come here for jobs, and if there are no jobs, they mostly don’t come or don’t stay.

Migrants are less likely than British natives to receive state benefits, or tax credits, or to live in social housing.

And migrants are a bargain. Their education was already paid for in their home countries.

Of course, the government would prefer that you blame migrants for our problems. Don’t!

  • It’s not the fault of migrants if we don’t have enough homes, hospitals, schools, or public transport. 
  • It’s not the fault of migrants that we have a cost-of-living-crisis and many Britons are struggling.

That’s the fault of government.

It’s the government’s responsibility to ensure that Britain can adequately accommodate all the workers our economy needs to thrive, whatever nationality they are.


Follow my journalism on: