WITH the general election campaigns now in full swing, certain national tabloid newspapers are carrying front page headlines attacking immigration and claiming all sorts of things about migrants supposedly flooding into the country and receiving massive amounts in welfare benefit for no work.
Can I just inform your readers of a few facts to help them take a balanced view on these important issues?
Migrants from central and eastern Europe constitute just 0.91 per cent of the UK population, but contribute 0.96 per cent of total government revenue (taxes and National Insurance).
Many migrants are young, skilled workers and are 23 per cent less likely to receive welfare benefits than the indigenous British population.
Both these statistics come from University College London's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration, published in 2009. They illustrate that migrants pay their own way in this country.
Another figure, this time from the Home Office's Control of Immigration: Quarterly Statistical Summary for October-December 2009, shows that asylum seekers are not 'flooding in' and Britain is not the number one destination in Europe for those seeking asylum.
In fact, applications for asylum in the UK dropped to 4,765 in the last three months of last year, the lowest figure in 18 years! Also, both France and Italy receive more asylum applications than the UK.
Co-ordinator Hammersmith and Fulham
Refugee Forum Fulham