Visiting Poles in Britain

Read in Polish / polski

I visited a Polish family in Bradford yesterday, the same day that UKIP’s poisonous election leaflet landed on their doorstep.

In their small but impeccably clean and tidy flat, I heard about how both parents came to work here on the minimum wage, doing jobs that no Brit had applied for. Although one is a fully qualified teacher, he has never been able to land a teachng job here, as Brits do apply for those and have always been preferred to him. So much for UKIP’s refrain of “they’re taking our jobs”! Yet they regularly receive abuse along the lines of what people hear from UKIP, and now they fear that Britain might leave the EU and they would be thrown out.

It’s time the media and all mainstream parties stand up to UKIP’s lies and scare tactics. The facts about immigration bear repeating:

  • There is an almost equal balance between the numbers of people from other EU countries in Britain and the numbers of Brits living in other EU countries.
  • Those here pay overall far more in tax than they take in benefits and services.
  • They were educated and trained at the expense of their own country’s taxpayers, but are now contributing to the British economy.

Where there are problems with migrants undercutting British workers, this is usually because of unscrupulous employers or agencies who illegally pay less than the minimum wage, or place them in tied housing deducted from their wages, or cut corners on health and safety knowing they are unlikely to complain.

These are things that are entirely in the hands of our own government to legislate against, inspect, and enforce — and it’s time they did more. They are not the fault of the migrants!

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