Data published this week shows a surge in foreign nationals claiming benefits, while the bulk of Britons leaving the country are middle income grafters, not bonus-chasing bankers. These trends are economically and socially debilitating – we need to keep the British strivers, and send the benefits tourists home.
Between 2008 and 2012, foreign nationals claiming benefits rose 41% to 406,900, falling slightly this year. For all the furore over European immigration, two-thirds of foreign national welfare claimants come from Asia, 24% from Africa and only 16% from the European Union.
Let’s be clear: foreign nationals comprise just 7% of the total claimant count. As a result of this government’s controls, net migration is down a third since its 2010 high. Equally, while the government has brought total welfare claimants down, from its 2009 peak, at 5.7 million we are still grappling with a major welfare dependency problem – and it is predominantly home-grown. Nevertheless, the foreign claimant count costs us close to £2billion each year, so it should not be ignored.