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Generous Benefits, come one; come all... watch

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    Hundreds of thousands of immigrants come to Britain just to get welfare benefits, a senior judge declared yesterday.

    Judge Ian Trigger said the cost of the handouts has helped to double the national debt.

    He spoke out as he gave a two-year jail sentence to a Jamaican drug minder who disappeared from the notice of immigration authorities after claiming asylum.

    He told Lucien McClearley, 31, at Liverpool Crown Court: 'Your case illustrates all too clearly the completely lax immigration policy that exists and has existed over recent years.'

    Sentencing McClearley, he added: 'People like you, and there are literally hundreds and hundreds of thousands of people like you, come to these shores to avail themselves of the generous welfare benefits that exist here.

    'In the past ten years the national debt of this country has risen to extraordinary heights, largely because central Government has wasted billions of pounds. Much of that has been wasted on welfare payments.

    'For every £1 that the decent citizen, who is hard-working, pays in taxes, nearly 10 per cent goes on servicing that national debt. That is twice the amount it was in 1997 when this Government came to power.'

    Read more: http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/arti...#ixzz0Me4KSCUT

    It certainly is not the place of judges to make statements about Governmental fiscal policy in open court. Ian Trigger should have focused on the case in hand, not made generalised and ill-informed claims about immigration and budget deficits.

    To tackle his 'argument' though, he has conflated two separate (but linked) things:
    1. What level we should set welfare benefits and to whom they should apply
    2. The national deficit which has arisen from the decision to spend through the recession rather than cut spending, reduce the deficit, and risk depression.

    The national debt is not an argument against welfare payments, but rather a factor when we consider the best approach to take to recessionary economics.

    Turning to his arguments about immigrants sponging off the system, the Judge may not be aware that for their first year in this country immigrants are not entitled to welfare benefits. In other words, in order to survive, immigrants need employment. This goes some way to explaining why immigrants are net contributors to our economy. For every case such as this one (a drug dealer) there will many multiples more who are doing the service and minimum wage jobs which many of those born in the UK refuse to do.

    In terms of 'availing yourself of welfare benefits', the majority of UK welfare payment goes on social securities such as pensions and the NHS, the majority of which is spent on the elderly (over 50% of healthcare costs for any given patient are spent on the last 6 months of their lives). The demographics don't support the Judge's arguments. Welfare recipients are largely the elderly who are almost entirely British born and the unemployed. Immigrants are mostly young, working age AND net-contributors to the UK economy.

    Once again the Daily Mail takes one case and generalises to the entire UK immigrant population. Without immigration our tax burden would increase enormously; although that does not resolve a full answer to point (1) above.
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