Tuesday, June 16, 2009

LSE: immigration is good for you

The London School of Economics has brought out a report saying that an amnesty for illegal immigrants would benefit the economy to the tune of three billion pounds. It's not often you'd get a financial reward for doing the right thing, but in this case apparently it is so.

After pushing from the Greens Mayor Boris Johnson commissioned the study and he has welcomed it's findings. According to the BBC Mr Johnson said:

"This new report has introduced some long overdue facts, hard evidence and academic rigour into a debate which has far too often been dominated by myth, anecdote and hearsay.

"So, far from a financial burden, as some suggest, this new research has found an amnesty could be worth up to £3bn a year to the country's economy.

"The study also demolishes the argument that an amnesty would inevitably lead to increased migration to the UK and identifies effective border controls as the vital factor in controlling and deterring illegal immigration."

Which is so far beyond what I would have expected the Tory Mayor to say I think it would be churlish to do anything but approve. Sadly the Labour government has responded by saying an amnesty is simply out of the question.

It certainly comes to something when a Conservative Mayor is more progressive on immigration of all things than the Labour Party. What we need to hear now is strong Labour voices, particularly in London, supporting the proposal and demanding action from their government before Cameron gets in and that's the end of their influence for a generation.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

An amnesty would improve the lives of millions directly, and pretty much everyone else indirectly.

It's something I whole heatedly support, but there are some very powerful interests out there whole would militate against anything like this.

With Labour in a state of semi paralysis and the Conservative moving rightward I don't see any break through coming.

I think things like SOASgate will bring this to peoples attention more than figures from the LSE. Immigration is pretty much conventionally accepted as a economic boon but it's people prejudices we need to challenge.