Migration is a contentious issue

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It’s good to note that Mark Dunford, as your ‘News’ Editor, in his article on the Eastleigh by-election, asserts ‘as a good journalist’, that he doesn’t support any political party.

That is what would be expected from one whose primary role is presumably to report objective news rather than engage in subjective and contentious comment.

Unfortunately, although he purports to outline the reasons for Conservative ‘outrage’, he obviously enjoys giving support to their concerns, and the article soon descends into assertive, unsubstantiated Tory polemic.

To take only one example. He says, ‘Immigration from within the EU is another key concern – not least because it is the factor which is driving the need for endless more homes and constantly pushing up the costs of them’. NB. Not even ‘one of the factors’. Really? May we not find other factors? And, I assume, he would include Horsham District’s need for more houses and its increased prices as being due to the influx of immigrants into this area?

Perhaps we can blame all those foreign staff in our popular expanding restaurant sector? This is the same school of thinking as some of the worst elements of our popular press whipping up fears of hordes of Bulgarians and Romanians stampeding into Britain to join all the other ‘benefit tourists’ from the EU already gorging on our fantastically generous welfare system, not helping Government law enforcement by taking jobs below the national minimum wage, and depriving the undeserving poor from their opportunity to pull wide their bedroom curtains and get out to work. And, of course, they clog up the NHS and school places, as well as making houses for our young people unobtainable or unaffordable.

As News Editor, might Mr Dunford in the future, publicise a few of the recent facts published on EU immigration into the UK and our migrants into many of the European countries. The inward flow is mainly young and healthy, and the outward flow generally older and lower contributors.

Duncan Smith’s DWP recently stated that ‘only seven per cent of working age migrants claim any form of benefits, compared with 17 per cent of Britons’. Another extensive study recently concluded, ‘Migrants, as a whole put in 30 per cent more in taxes than they take out in use of public services and welfare’.

Of course migration is a contentious issue and suggested reforms must be considered, but based on principles of contribution, integration and fairness.

Should we not all be careful to avoid overheated rhetoric about supposed threats?

BOB NAUGHTON

Smithbarn, Horsham