It depends what evidence one draws on to claim that immigrants have given more than they have taken (Letters, May 6).
For many years the Labour Government claimed that immigrants added £6 billion a year to GDP.
However, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee, reporting in April 2008, said that what mattered was GDP per head.
They concluded: ‘We have found no evidence for the argument, made by Government, business and many others, that net immigration contributes significant economic benefits for the existing UK population.’
In January 2012 the Migration Advisory Committee went further. They said that even GDP per head exaggerated the benefit of immigration because: ‘It is the immigrants themselves rather than the extant residents who are the main gainers.’
In their annual Fiscal Sustainability Report, the Office for Budget Responsibility concluded in August 2013: ‘In our attempt to summarise the vast literature on the impact of immigration on the labour market and productivity we have not found definitive evidence of the impact of immigrants on productivity and GDP. Most of the literature seems to indicate that immigrants have a positive, although not significant, impact on productivity and GDP.’
Ninety-three per cent of immigrants come to England so that as far as the UK in total is concerned, England is the crucial country in the context. At the last count it is the second most densely populated country in the EU with 417 people per square kilometre, after the Netherlands (with 500 per square kilometre) and excluding islands such as Malta.
We now have a net migration rate of one third of a million per year. How high does it have to go before the rate outstrips the cited benefits of immigration (a doubtful premise anyway given the above)? Half a million? Three quarters? One million? Two?
With London now represented by no more than 45 per cent of the white indigenous population, our capital is the most un-English city in the land. Birmingham is not far behind.
Quite apart from the strain on housing, education, health, law and order, how much more must our country have its host nation culture diluted?
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