The 14 Words

Friday, 20 December 2013

UK Evidence to MAC Review on Low Skilled Work


Summary

1. Large scale immigration by low paid workers from the EU reduces the wages of low skilled British workers, adds nothing to GDP per head but adds considerably to pressure on public services. In-work benefits are a huge incentive and must be reformed. Recommendations are at paragraph 14.

Introduction

2. Migration Watch UK believes that significant inward flows of people can detrimentally affect the chances of the native born in the labour market. In particular large flows from Eastern Europe, where wages are far lower and for whom there are no employment restrictions, are particularly detrimental to those native born workers who possess lower skills levels and especially younger workers in London. Moreover, the system of social security in the UK and the effective tax rates for the low paid distort the labour market by disincentivising work for the native born. This evidence note is confined to a discussion of low skilled migrant labour from East Europe since there has not been a direct route for non-EU workers to come to fill low skilled routes for many years.

3. We welcome the opportunity that the MAC has provided for people to submit evidence with respect to “‘real-life’ perspectives” [1] that they may have experienced themselves or observed in their local area. This type of anecdotal evidence has for too long been disregarded by desk-based economists who have ignored what cannot be input into a spreadsheet but which has a significant impact on people’s lives.

Read the full Briefing Paper 4.26


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