web analytics

OUR CHANGING COUNTRYSIDE…

By ATWadmin On July 17th, 2007

Fascinating to read that the number of migrant workers in rural England has grown by more than 200% in the last three years. The rise in non-UK workers from 309,080 to 579,050 is putting a big strain on local services, says the Commission for Rural Communities in its first report. Its report also says that the rural population is both older and ageing faster than the urban population. There are now almost 400,000 fewer people aged between 15 and 29 in rural areas than there were 20 years ago.

These are huge demographic changes which suggest that there has been a veritable exodus of young people from the country, which when combined with a lower than replacement level birth-rate, have created the bizarre situation in which Englands "green and pleasant fields" are increasingly populated by Eastern European workers doing the "jobs Brits just won’t do"!

22 Responses to “OUR CHANGING COUNTRYSIDE…”

  1. Younger people are just drawn to the attraction of major cities I suppose, I cant see how that can be tackled.

    I wonder though, how many of the young people who live their 20s/30s in cities, would prefer raise their families in the rural environment that they themselves grew up in as opposed to the cities. Should tax incentives be made available to encourage people into the rural areas

  2. Kloot,

    Yes, the attraction or urban life has to be a powerful one. But the massive population displacement effect is not one that is openly discussed in political life, how do we feel, for example, about the vast increase in Eastern European migrants? What would happen if these migrants left?

  3. Migrant workers have a number of effects on the communities they form around I suppose.

    They form an artificial rental group, in that they need somewhere to stay and this demand can temporarily drive up rent prices. A side effect of them leaving then is a collapse in this market. I know in my home town that large numbers of new apartments and homes are being bought with the purpose of renting them to the immigrant community. If this community chooses to leave, there will be a large number of people struggling to pay their mortgages. Bad investments really.

    Another side effect is that local schools have an influx of children from migrant workers and either they cant cope with numbers or they do not have the proper staff to cater for the language and cultural problems that arise.

    Crime can be a problem, but not always thankfully. There are rotten apples in every barrel.

    So if all of these services are provided, what happens then when the migrant workers move elsewhere as can happen.

  4. "What would happen if these migrants left? "

    What happened before they came? Strawberries were picked and the pickers were paid – who were the pickers?

    I can answer that from personal experience. Growing up in rural Angus, students such as I would pick strawberries, then raspberries in summer, then potatoes in autumn and those earnings would see me over to the winter period. A few days before Christmas, there would be part-time work for the Post Office to assist with the surge. That’s how it was and I don’t see why it shouldn’t be. There are no "jobs that Britons won’t do": that is just a myth used to denigrate ourselves.

  5. Allan,

    I entirelt agree that there are "no jobs that Britons won’t do" – this is a scam. But there are plenty of welfare funded Britons not interested in work!

  6. Indeed David, but that is deliberate policy of this government. They are disincentivising the indigenous workforce in order to provide a cloak for their open-doors migration policy.

  7. Allan,

    Yip, and making US pay for it.

  8. I can answer that from personal experience. Growing up in rural Angus, students such as I would pick strawberries, then raspberries in summer, then potatoes in autumn and those earnings would see me over to the winter period.

    Been there, done that myself (back breaking work), but is it not the case that these fruit and veg business are being run more like… well proper efficient businesses these days, where its not enough to rely on part time summer workers.

    There are no "jobs that Britons won’t do":

    For the right amount of money im sure they would do any job, but its a combination of the type of work and the low pay that puts the British workers off the jobs, as in the return aint worth it.. in their view

  9. If these immigrants left you would firstly see considerable damage done to the rural housing market and rural services – shops, post offices etc would all lose business and many housing investments would fail.

    Secondly the agricultural industry would be badly damaged – needing to spend more money on higher wages and getting less productive workers to boot. There would also be great loss from investments which, without migrant workers, prove fruitless (excuse the pun).

    Thirdly, many students like me who currently get pleasant jobs in retail outlets and offices would go back to picking fruit in the sun all day.

    The only advantage I can see to their leaving is that the ‘strain’ on government-run services like buses would dissapear. This is most sad because this should be a bad thing, but the government often fails to understand that ‘strain’ is a good thing. When services are strained the market is telling you that those services are in demand and that by providing more of that service you can make more money. Unfortunately many councils will instead decide that the answer is to reduce demand by removing immigrants, rather than increasing supply as any sane businessman would do.

  10. Sarco has introduced an idea that overtime pay in France would be tax-free to incentivise work.

  11. Sarco has introduced an idea that overtime pay in France would be tax-free to incentivise work.

    Heck, id be happy just to get paid overtime full stop… celtic tiger my ar…

  12. The migrnats come into the country and earn lower wages than would otherwise have been paid to the indigenous worker; that’s why they’re here. The tax take will therefore drop and the fact that they, as a group, earn less than the median means that the GDP per capita must also decline. The money earned is then sent home which means a drain on the UK’s foreign currency reserves because, somewhere along the line, the money has to be converted. Naturally, they need to stay somewhere so agencies buy up flats etc which puts them beyond the reach of locals, who are now either out of work (on ‘benefits’) or earning less money.
    How about a proper, balanced review of what the presence of so many migrants actually does to the people?

  13. Kloot, true dat, as they say. Bosses here jump through rings of fire Pali style to keep from paying OT. It’s just good business unless ab. necessary.

    Come to think of it, a Frenchman working OT?

  14. Come to think of it, a Frenchman working OT?

    🙂 Are they not all on 35 hour weeks anyway… kids play. Overtime is rarely paid in the IT industry, and even less so in small companies such as the one I work in.

  15. "The migrnats come into the country and earn lower wages than would otherwise have been paid to the indigenous worker; that’s why they’re here. The tax take will therefore drop"

    Actually the tax take rises. Businesses employing migrants do better than they did before so there is more VAT and more corporate tax being paid. People previosuly doing the jobs that immigrants are now doing go on to higher paid jobs and earn more money, increasing the income tax and national insurance take. The immigrants also bring demand for things like food, housing, televisions and so on, which further boosts the VAT take and the performance of the firms selling those goods and services and thus corporation tax.

    "and the fact that they, as a group, earn less than the median means that the GDP per capita must also decline."

    Not so – the multiplyer effect means that the investment of labour into the economy has a far greater benefit than the value of their wages. The money previosuly paid to workers in higher wages does not dissapear – but less money is spent on labour so more can be spent on other things. GDP per capita actually rises.

    "The money earned is then sent home which means a drain on the UK’s foreign currency reserves"

    If you mean the government’s foreign currency reserves, it has no effect on these. If you mean private reserves then this is a good thing. Trade is happening: private individuals and private firms agreeing to swap goods because it benefits both parties. Thus, the UK actually gets richer.

    "Naturally, they need to stay somewhere so agencies buy up flats etc which puts them beyond the reach of locals"

    There are likely to be fewer locals as more of them move to do more productive jobs in cities and suburbs, but regardless the flats are being allocated to their most productive use and thus benefitting the economy.

    "who are now either out of work (on ‘benefits’) or earning less money."

    Not true. They will earn more than they did previously .

  16. "who are now either out of work (on ‘benefits’) or earning less money."

    Not true. They will earn more than they did previously .

    WHERE?

  17. If one takes CL’s ‘economics’ seriously then it would appear that the entire country would benefit by having foreign labour do everything and the indigenous population doing nothing. I’ll take my little town in Angus as an example of what is actually happening as a result of the uncontrolled influx of cheap foreign labour. No locals are being recruited by the farmers to pick fruit any more and so the wages earned by the workforceare taken away from the locality when the migrants move on. The local schoolchildren (including my two) do not have work for the summer and instead, basically lie in their beds then hang around doing as little as possible – hence failure to instill work ethic. The mothers of the local kids would usually go fruit-picking with their kids and they too would ensure that money earned locally would be spent locally.
    An even more specific example is in Dingwall where the foreign workers in the fish factory (locals were all laid off to go and do some drugs or alcohol) were all kipping out in the top floor of a local hotel – somewhat illegally, but blind eyes are always turned. This is happening everywhere and it’s not just theory: it’s real. Our working class is being turned into a dependeant class because their work is being taken from them. Work defines the working class and provides them with the foundations for future betterment and there is nothing in CL’s statement which will change that simple fact.

  18. "it would appear that the entire country would benefit by having foreign labour do everything and the indigenous population doing nothing"

    No, the correct extrapolation would be that the entire countrty would benefit by having foreign labour do all current jobs and the existing labour force doing new jobs. Provided that this came about through market forces then yes that is correct. However, this would never happen due to the limited quantity of land in the UK.

    Your argument, however, is ridiculous. Supposedly by preventing ourselves from trading we become better off. According to you this works when it follows the political boundries of the UK so surely it would work if it followed the boundries of Scotland, Wales, England and Northern Irelenad? Of course, let’s ban people in Scotland from working in England! In fact, we can take it a step further and ban people in Berkshire from working in Buckinghamshire, thus benefitting people in Buckinghamshire. Or we could REALLY boost the economy and ban anyone from working anywhere except on their own land.

    While, we’re at it we should also ban the microchip, the combustion engine, electricity, the wheel and so on and so forth. Afterall, when something comes along that does someone’s job better or with less cost, this harms everyone.

    Or not.

    In truth the positive economic effects of immigration have been proven throughout the world, in the USA in particular. Independent studies show that, in the UK, migrant workers contribute about £13 billion to the economy and account for between 0.5 and 1.0% of the UK’s growth in GDP per capita. Despite your anecdotal experience the trend rate of unemplyoment is flat and the real number claiming unemplyoment benefit has been falling. I can also provide anecdotal evidence of immigrants benefitting a community – where I live there has been a flood of Polish farm workers, now students and former-farm workers are employed in supermarkets, restaurants and coffe bars amongst other things. Local businesses are booming with the increased trade and many are expanding and investing. Trains and buses that used to run almost empty now have plenty of business with foreign workers, foreign entrepreneurs have started succesful local businesses such as restaurants, a video rental shop and a taxi service – all of which are doing well.

  19. Amongst the BS from CL was:
    " …..and the real number claiming unemplyoment benefit has been falling."

    The real number on ‘benefits’ has been rising continuously for several years. 2.7 million on incapacity benefits of which 1.1 million claim mental incapacity: ILO states 1.4 million unemployed of whom 864,000 claim jobseeker’s allowance, Effectively 4 million out of a workforce of about 25 million – not good figures no matter how much the government attempts to hide the reality, and no matter how credulous some of the gullible public may be.

  20. You claim there is rising unemplyoment when there is none and yet I’m the one talking BS? You should go into politics, Allan.

    Unemployment is hardly high. Even I know that current levels are nothing compared to a few years ago and the 70’s and so on and so forther. Historically, our level of unemplyoment is decidedly low.

    Now first you say immigrants are causing natives to be unemployed by taking their jobs, now you say immigrants are coming here to claim incapacity benefits? Make your mind up.

    Not that it matters, either is wrong in any meaningful sense. The fact that immigrants pay more in tax than they take out in benefits kills the latter and we’ve already shown up the former.

    Could it be that the rising number of people on incapacity benefits is due to more people being incapacitated (record levels of stress related illnesses etc)? More people learning how to claim? Claiming being made easier? More natives playing the system? Got any figures to show what percentage of the increase in claimants are immigrants? Though again it dosn’t matter. The figure could be 100% and it wouldn’t change the fact that they give more than they take.

    If you’d like a proper look into the negative effects of immigration then I suggest you read the report by Professor Batchflower, of the Bank of England (who have an interest in good economic performance and thus accurate data, no?), who did an unashamedly thorough investigation (you might almost think he was trying to prove immigration WAS bad but just couldn’t find any evidence…):

    http://www.bankofengland.co.uk/publications/speeches/2007/speech297.pdf

    We might also ask why government would be so keen on immigration if it’s only draining, rather than bolstering, its koffers? Especially migrants who won’t stay to vote… And why the National Farmers Union, the Bank of England, the City and virtually every serious economist in the country would all support immigration if it is bad economically?

    I will leave you with the thought that if immigrants claiming benefits is the problem (which it’s not) why not simply stop them claiming benefits or abolish or reduce the welfare state, rather than banning the immigrants themselves?

  21. CL, which world are you living in? I have just checked (today) the actual figures for incapacity benefit claimants, for unemployment (job-seeker’s allowance!?) benefit claimants, and the more realistic figure of unemployed as defined by the ILO. The figures were respectively 2.7 million, 864,000, and 1.1 million. That is close to 4 million people out of work in this country. We don’t need more migrants: we need to train our own people, especially in areas of Glasgow (Shettleston) where extremely high %ages of the working population were ‘incapacitated’.

    From a CL post: "While, we’re at it we should also ban the microchip, the combustion engine, electricity, the wheel and so on and so forth. Afterall, when something comes along that does someone’s job better or with less cost, this harms everyone."

    The manufacturing jobs for these very products (and the future, better things with less cost) are being offshored, exported, any euphemism for lost will do. With these skilled jobs go the skills for such jobs. Fortunately, there might be jobs in supermarkets (a degree in shelf-stacking coming soon) coffee bars and restaurants.

    BTW, CL, what is your line of work? I’m just curious.

  22. "CL, which world are you living in? I have just checked (today) the actual figures for incapacity benefit claimants, for unemployment (job-seeker’s allowance!?) benefit claimants, and the more realistic figure of unemployed as defined by the ILO. The figures were respectively 2.7 million, 864,000, and 1.1 million. That is close to 4 million people out of work in this country."

    I don’t know what you’re getting at. I didn’t state any particular figure for the number of unemployed. The fact remains that unemplyoment is relatively stable and historically low – in the early 1990’s the unemplyoment rate exceeded 10%. Even when we inflate the figures for today with all those things you added, it’s only 6%.

    "The manufacturing jobs for these very products (and the future, better things with less cost) are being offshored, exported, any euphemism for lost will do. With these skilled jobs go the skills for such jobs."

    And a good thing too! If it wasn’t for such globalisation of industry our own people would be stuck making microchips instead of designing them, using them to market sporstwear and invest in the stockmarket. Indeed the average Briton wouldn’t even be able to afford a computer for themselves, but thanks to the shift in employment demographics most homes now have one.

    You should be happy that such jobs go abroad, thus allowing the creation of new and better jobs here and lowering the price of goods. Britain would certainly not have been able to move into highly productive, high paying and by all accounts more pleasant industries like banking, insurance and marketting had it not been for the move in manufacturing to countries like China. Surely you accept that the advent of machinery and computers which ‘stole’ many jobs has been good for the economy? It has been good because machines cost less than or do a better job than people. Just like immigrants cost less or do a better job than natives. Machines didn’t cause unemplyoment in the long term – they didn’t so much "steal" jobs as they did free workers to go and do more productive and enjoyable things. Employment is far lower today than it was in the 70’s when computers started appearing, and yet the ppulation has GROWN.

    "BTW, CL, what is your line of work? I’m just curious."

    I work in graphic design and do a bit of web development now and again. I also have an evening job in a bar lined up so that I can make some exra money for university. All are far preferable vocations to picking fruit in the nearby farms (that the Polish now do) or just doing nothing which is what most students used to do around here – now they work in the local farmshop (the money invested into this was raised by employing migrant workers on the farms), in bars (most of which have only recently opened) and in the local supermarket (also recently opened). A couple, like me, do more skilled jobs like web development, DJing and programming. There used to be a few retail jobs but not that many, now there’s no shortage of jobs and most are closer and better paid.