Thursday, 29 April 2010

One observation on immigration/movement from the EU....

For what it's worth, prompted by Derbyshire's programme on R5L this morning, a thought about inward immigration from the EU.

The argument, reiterated by Brown to Gillian Duffy yesterday, is that there is equal opportunity for Brits to go to other EU coiuntries to work, and that therefore the economic effect is at least neutral, and probably beneficial.

A Polish woman was interviewed. She had a Masters degree, but admitted that she was financially better off coming here to work in a factory than to work in Poland. Later, when asked about the effect she thought that Poles coming to work here was, she said that British people could (and she asserted, did) go and work in Poland. However, clearly, from her evidence, they would be going to work for lower wages that they could get here. So why would they?

I have nothing intrinsically against movement of people around the world or within the EU, but I would like there to be more openness and truthfulness about the effect of it. It seems obvious to me that if there is a source of workers available who are prepared, even eager, to work for lower wages than would otherwise pertain, it will inevitably produce a downward pressure on wages. I suspect that is in some way an intentional effect of the EU.

Anecdotally, from my experience, it does seem that salaries available from jobs now are relatively much lower than perhaps ten years or so ago. Life is much harder, and was even before the recession.

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