November 24, 2017

:

The Magic Money Tree -

Saturday, November 4, 2017

The Housing Wonderland by Ian Lewis -

Saturday, October 7, 2017

Will STPs finally wreck the NHS? -

Sunday, June 18, 2017

STPs – A new way to wreck the NHS -

Friday, February 17, 2017

Private health insurance doesn’t cover A & E!! -

Monday, January 30, 2017

Cameron’s EU Race Card

“The UK believes in an open economy. But we have got to be able to cope with all the pressures that free movement can bring – on our schools, our hospitals and our public services. Right now, the pressures are too great.” Cameron’s letter to Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, dated 10th November 20151.

If the EU ’emergency brake’ on in-work benefits had been introduced 4 years ago only 84,000 families would have claimed in-work benefits and very little money would have been saved.2 Additionally, experts do not expect the ‘brake’ to reduce the flow of EU immigrants to the UK.3

Cameron blames EU migrants for the damage inflicted on our schools, our NHS and our public services but is oblivious to the damage caused by his governments’ programme of austerity. He went on to say in his letter that “People coming to Britain from the EU must live here and contribute for four years before they qualify for in-work benefits or social housing.” Does Cameron know that very little social housing is being built and most British people spend much much longer than 4 years on a housing waiting list?

Cameron could have checked his own government’s figures before writing to Tusk. But no, that would have been embarrassing. If he had done so, he would have found that in November 2015 the Department of Works and Pensions (DWP) published “Benefit Claims by EEA Nationals.”4 The European Economic Area (EEA) includes the 27 EU countries (excluding the UK) as well as Liechtenstein, Iceland and Norway. The total paid to nationals of these 30 countries in 2014 was £530 million in Tax Credits, just 1.6% of the total paid in Tax Credits, which includes both Working Credits and Child Credits. Not much out of the total UK budget of £748 billion, less than 0.01%!!

In truth, the real amount is probably even less. Tax Credits are paid by Her Majesty’s Revenue and Custom (HMRC)5 and HMRC defines a migrant family as having at least one non-UK national. They go on to state that there are 1.1 million migrant couples in the UK, 7% of all UK couples.

To save the whole £530 million, Cameron would have to commit to removing in-work benefits from tens of thousands of UK Nationals (spouses of EEA nationals) and their children!

If Cameron wanted to save such a paltry sum, there are far easier ways to do it. Fully taxing large multinational companies like Google, Amazon, Facebook, Starbucks and Boots etc would more than cover this cost.

But the truth is, he is not interested in saving this money – he wants to win the referendum. Promising a referendum was a safe political gambit to keep the anti-EU wing of the Tory Party quiet. Cameron expected a hung Parliament, as all the opinion polls predicted, before the May 2015 General Election. If the coalition had continued, the Lib Dems would not have agreed to a referendum, and there wouldn’t have been any interest in a referendum from a Labour-led coalition. Nothing could go wrong – except Cameron ended up with a small working majority!

Cameron’s victory left him with a dilemma. There had to be a referendum and a renegotiation, but what should he ask for from the EU? Whatever he got would have to be sold to his backbenchers and to the country as a whole. A You Gov6 opinion poll asked people what they wanted from the renegotiation, and the top two issues were greater control of our borders and immigration (53%) and limits on EU migrants claiming benefits (46%). Of course, Cameron frequently talks of EU migrants claiming benefits, conveniently forgetting that the ’emergency brake’ only applies to in-work benefits!!

Armed with this information, Cameron has decided to play the race card. He needs to convince voters that migrants really are a drain on the NHS, social services and UK taxpayers, which his own government’s figures show is untrue. He sees this as the best chance of winning the referendum he was not prepared for, and which he never expected to take place.

Recently, Cameron met with the Prime Minister of the Czech Republic, Bohuslav Sobotka, who is opposed to the 4-year ban on migrants’ in-work benefits, but would consider supporting any country applying an ’emergency brake’ to freeze migrants’ in-work benefits. This could happen if migration was deemed to be putting excessive pressure on social and welfare systems7.

At meetings between Cameron and Tusk8 at Downing Street on 31st January and 1st February Tusk made clear that this ’emergency brake’ solution could be applied immediately after a yes vote in the referendum. Now Tusk has produced a draft agreement and Cameron  has only to convince the other 27 members of the EU.  

The ’emergency brake’ will stop in work benefits being paid to new arrivals but British industry can carry on using gang masters to import an endless supply of exploited cheap labour to the detriment of British workers.

This is not a renegotiation, but a desperate attempt by Cameron to win the referendum, to remain Prime Minister and to stop the Tory Party ripping itself apart.

Three very good reasons to vote NO!!

Michael Gold,

@radicalmic

michael@radicalsoapbox.com

 

1 https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/eu-reform-pms-letter-to-president-of-the-european-council-donald-tusk

2 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/04/revealed-tax-credit-data-exposes-limits-of-camerons-emergency-brake

3 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/feb/04/migration-brake-will-not-work-critics-eu-referendum-campaign

4 https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/uk-benefit-and-tax-credit-claims-by-recently-arrived-eea-migrants

5 http://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/datablog/2015/nov/10/eu-migrants-claiming-benefits-questions-the-government-must-answer

6 https://yougov.co.uk/news/2015/12/10/eu-polling-soft-leave/

7 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/28/david-cameron-closing-in-on-deal-brake-benefits-eu-migrants

8 http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2016/jan/31/camerons-hopes-of-early-eu-referendum-dashed-after-talks-with-tusk-break-up

7 http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-politics-eu-referendum-35456633

 

 

 

 

 

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