The law of unintended consequences has struck George Osborne’s summer budget. According to the Financial Times, the Chancellor’s much-trumpeted minimum pay guarantee “will enhance the lure of the British labour market to migrants.”
This means the same Conservative Party that always says it is listening to community concerns about increased levels of immigration and says it is ready to do something about it is now ready to actively encourage it. Talk about walking both sides of the street.
Here is how the newspaper sums up the Osborne budget:
“The prize — a state tamed, a budget balanced — is considerable, but so is the risk of something going wrong. As the welfare changes grind their way through the system, there will be tales of extreme hardship: tax-credit claimants who make a net loss, families with nobody in work and young people leaving care without an entitlement to housing benefit.
“If the tax cuts for employers do not offset the new cost of the living wage, jobs may be lost, too. The pay guarantee will enhance the lure of the British labour market to migrants. Most budgets are boring for a reason: any dramatic policy is pregnant with trouble.”
Of course the Chancellor never spoke in these terms. He joined the rest of the Tories in applauding his own fiscal magic but when you drill down, things are never really as they seem. As Breitbart London has already pointed out, free market think tanks have denounced the government’s plans to hike the minimum wage to £9 an hour as “intellectually bankrupt.”
It smacks of policy on the run. By the government’s own prediction the move will cost 60,000 jobs, which will be concentrated in deprived parts of the country, they say, putting increased numbers on benefits.
A hoist to the basic living wage means this country will become even more appealing to those who see their own country falling around them and have only one dream left: to somehow cross the English Channel and begin their life again in the United Kingdom.
According to independent think tank Migration Watch, the UK population grew by almost half a million people between mid 2013 and mid 2014. The majority of this increase was directly down to international migration and in addition one quarter of all births were to non-UK born mothers.
Guaranteeing those migrants – legal and increasingly illegal – a higher starting wage will only make it more desirable again.
Somehow George Osborne left that bit out of his speech in Westminster.
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