I have not paid much attention to the Tories current wailing about Illegal Immigration, because I saw it for what it is; A distraction issue meant to draw attention (and headlines) away from how badly they are failing the British Public in every other way (Cost-of-living crisis, healthcare crisis, energy crisis, etc). Immigration is their go-to issue when they want to appear strong and decisive. Immigrants make a convenient scapegoat to blame for the nations ills, and as illegal immigrants can’t vote, they don’t think it will cost them at the polls.
They may need to rethink that.
Because the Tories are being extra deficient on every issue impacting the voting public, they want to appear extra tough on Immigration. Or rather, on small boat immigrants, AKA the most vulnerable people making the most dangerous journey. Illegal Immigrants caught entering or in the UK will be deported, either back to their country of origin or to a “Safe third country.” The primary argument is that refugees cost the government too much money and illegal immigrants are… well… illegal.
There is so much wrong in their thinking that my own head may explode in frustration. First, the finance. Refugees who manage to access government help (in it’s a small percentage), get £37.75 per week. That’s £5 per day. Yeah, they’re living the high life on that. Of course, they wouldn’t even need that pittance if we issued refugee claimants with temporary work visas so they could support themselves while their claims are settled. Given the country is in an employment crisis right now, with agriculture, service and hospitality sectors in desperate need of staff, this would solve several problems. But then the Tories would lose their scapegoat, so that won’t happen.
Of course, illegal immigrants can’t access the government help, because they don’t want to be deported. This leaves them entirely vulnerable to people traffickers; the modern slave trade. The only help the government will give them is relocation from frying pan to fire.
And then there is the ‘Safe Third Country’ bollocks. It makes you think they will be sent to a SAFE county. Someplace with a stable government, stable economy, employment opportunities, infrastructure. The Tory idea of a Safe country? RWANDA, where the government stays in power through surveillance, intimidation and torture to supress political dissent.
I wonder if our Home secretary looks at the Rwandan Government with envy.
It’s all bombast and babble, and doesn’t withstand scrutiny. Immigrants tend to contribute more to the economy than they cost, because god knows they have the motivation to work hard. The plans to keep them out of the country will involve paying France a half Billion pounds. Deportation to Rwanda has, so far, cost £120 million.
These days, people are paying attention to the numbers. The rising cost of living means we are weighing how much everything costs, how every every penny is spent. How much to boil the kettle? (6.8p) How much to run my Fridge? (£8 per week) How much does the Government cost? People are looking at those numbers too.
Suella Braverman, who balks at the £5 per day a Refugee would cost, has expensed £159000 in the last year. That’s £432 per day. Other MPs are expensing their utility bills, using government money to heat their stables. There’s also the £17 million for subsidised meals in the House of Commons. And lets not forget the pay rise MPs are giving themselves while refusing to negotiate pay with the Unions.
From a purely financial standpoint, the Illegal Migrant Bill will almost certainly cost us more than it saves. From a moral perspective, it is kicking the most vulnerable while they’re down. Even Theresa May, who many considered dangerously right wing during her time as Home Secretary, has deemed this bill costly, inhumane and ineffective.
The Tories have failed with healthcare, the economy, infrastructure, brexit, education, cost of living, cost of energy, unemployment. Immigration was their last hope to appear in control. It’s not going to work.
Costly, Inhumane and Ineffective; Sums up the Tories as a whole.
If you enjoyed this rant, Check out my previous work. So That Happened by Sheila Power. Available from Amazon in Digital and paperback.