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The Prime Minister is playing right into UKIP's hands on immigration

David Cameron's speech today is being accused of being all spin and no substance. It is likely only to increase public fears and misunderstanding about migrants and the welfare system - is this the outcome he wanted?

The Eastleigh by-election has been more significant than we could have anticipated. During the weeks since the byelection was dominated by UKIP's inflamed rhetoric about EU migration, we have seen political messaging around immigration ramped up yet again. Successive statements from Nick Clegg last week and, today, David Cameron, have appeared to compete for who can scaremonger the loudest. 

Cameron's speech has dominated the news cycle for nearly three days now, with extracts of his speech having been drip-fed into the press over the weekend and sustaining numerous radio phone-ins and articles on migrants and the welfare system. The overarching message being shouted from Downing Street has been that immigrants to the UK are causing too much of a drain on the welfare state and that access now needs to be curbed. 
 
The hype reached a feverpitch today, but when it came to the speech itself, Cameron was left looking like it was all poisonous spin and no substance. He again failed to put forward any real evidence on migrants and access to the welfare system - unsurprising as we know that overall most migrants are here to work, pay taxes and contribute, not to 'sit around' on benefits. In fact, the most recent wave of European migrants, from the A8 countries, made a substantial fiscal contribution overall and were much less likely than UK citizens to claim benefits or tax credits here. There is no compelling body of evidence to support a major restriction on access to benefits for migrants.
 
Even by Cameron's own objectives, the actual measures that he outlined seemed unconvincing, whichever side of the argument you sit on. Clamping down on long-tem EU jobseekers unless they are 'genuinely seeking work'? Isn't that what Iain Duncan Smith's claims his new Universal Credit system will be doing for everyone seeking to claim jobseekers allowance in the UK? Stopping migrants in the UK from 'immediately gaining access to social housing'? Most non-EEA migrants have no access to social housing for their first five years already - EU migrants potentially have entitlement in some parts of the UK, but usually have to queue for years like everyone else on the list for a council house. And the announcement that the government apparently 'will look to introduce stricter charging or a requirement for non-EEA temporary migrants to have private health insurance in order to access NHS care' sounds ambiguous - and ambitious - enough to never come to pass.
 
All in all, this is a cynical strategy by the Government which will prove divisive, inevitably increasing public fears about immigration rather than easing them. But the surefire outcome of today's speech was to achieve the next stage in the 'arms race' on immigration - a race that only UKIP can gain from.

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Comments

Empty drum makes lot of noises and what goes around comes around. Nothing new on these deliberate vicious attacks on migrants and refugees but just a rehearsal of what has been said from one Prime minister to another. It is like a game show for politicians but a horrific drama for hard working people currently stripped of almost everything and sadly fed with blatant lies and fake promises. A leader without wisdom always ends up infamous. We all will be remembered not only by our words but actions.
Respect, peace and Love!

Get in the REAL world immigration has ruined this Country, and idiots like yourself are making it worse. Look at the crime figures, look in the prisons, look at the queues at hospitals, look at the doctors waiting lists, look at the indigenous parents who cannot get the children into the school of there choice, wake up you idiot

Im Polish migrant (10y in uk) married to Englishman. We have a child. Have worked & paid taxes all my stay in the UK, in full time employment currently. Will Cameron tell me to go back to Poland after 6months should I loose my job? My son is british, he doesnt have Polish passport. My husband doest speak polish. We have a mortgage - if I cant find job and loose jobseekers allowance my British son & husband will loose their house!
Dont think PM thought it through!

Scare mongering, vote grabbing - both suffix. But I think the PM has failed miserably to distinguish noise from sound. Even the statistic published to back this whole hoopla obviously contradicted what the PM came out to say this morning. And everyone saw that even the PM struggled to believe the words coming out of his own mouth.

Nothing has changed and all the noise and associated debate will change nothing, this is a government that has no clue on how to govern, they have recanted on more policies than my year of birth. I am a little surprised though, the PM is well educated and could have look up the figures too (or get one of his numerous PAs to do so) before coming out to embarrass himself.

And for those who believe all the hype, make a request under FOI and ask your council to publish the waiting list in your area and the. See for yourself (if you can't read, you might as well pass it to a skilled migrant).

My pennies worth: You do not have to join the UKIP in scare mongering mr PM, ask your self: apart from the noise over immigration, what other policy has the UKIP come up with on anything else, if you're sure you are getting the grip with the economy as you promised you're doing, delegate the noise making to whoever is interested, this whole immigration scaremongering will cost the Con more votes than it would win them. #justsaying

Oh dear David you have been taken in by the politicians and right wing press haven't you. Don't you understand what Cameron is blubbing now is because Nigel Farage drew up the starting gate at Eastleigh and the rest now have to jump on the bandwagon. They are all doing the politicians thing playing to the gallery and taking in the unthinking 'sheeple' idiots.
In the 1930s Hitler did the same when he mislead the German people by demonising the Jews. In todays world Britain cannot be a lonely island in the North Sea and stand alone.
The Empire is gone we have lost all out producing capacity to the Chinese. The Japanese & Germans own our car industry. Britains electronics industry is owned by the Japanese and now the Koreans. Our bankers sold us out and public money bailed them out so they could be paid their massive bonuses. Britain is nearly a banana republic with no bananas.
The reason is that Britains politicians are looking out for themselves only to the next election.
They have sacrificed the ordinary British citizen and sold the country out to othe £millionaires.
There is already a restriction on immigrants getting housing and benefits and health care.
What Cameron is spouting is nothing new - he's doing it to try to get public approval so he's selling whats already in place as something new - and he's misleading you and the public!

Yeah ok, I'll think about your comments next time I pass my local Benefits office in East London and have to pass all the non British people whilst they park up in their Audi or people carrier to sign on or they are in there with a couple of children, declaring that they have been looking for work but their oldest child having to translate for them! I'll also think about this when I pass the newly built longed for housing nearby to find that almost all of the social housing went to immigrant families who have no intention in looking after the property, you can tell by the dirty net curtains and the piles of rubbish outside, while I have been on the housing list for 18 years and neither I nor anyone I know have any chance of being housed!!!
Nobody is saying that all immigrants are bad, just that they should not be treated more favorable than British Nationals and should have to prove themselves first, just as we would in any other country.

I don't know what are they talking about, as you have mentioned, immigrants don't claim any benefits straightaway. On an average non EU have to pay in this country as tax for an average of 6 to 8 years, without any benefit, and don't know about social housing. Even if applied for housing association list that could be 10 to infinity years to get one. Why do the politicians make so much of voice about immigration? They charge such a heavy fees on visa application. Would they not mention howuch money we have brought into this country, through student fees, accommodation fees, student visa fees, getting a work permit fees, extending visa fees, family visa fees, settlement fees, above all taxes and taxes and taxes. What do the politicians want from immigrants? BLOOD are what?
No one comes to this country and claim benefits straight away, this is really ARMS RACE!!!!

There are 16% of indigenous Brits claiming long term benefits and only 6% of immigrants now entitled to benefits. No immigrants can get benefits they are not entitled to can they?
Same as housing no immigrant can jump the housing list over a Brit can they?
They all have to be interviewed by a Govt employee to get benefits and a Local Govt officer to get housing - so just how are they getting benefits or housing they aren't entitled to?
The question is illegals. How did they get into the UK if the Border agency was doing its job?
Why are there 350,000 illegals in the Country that the UKBA hasn't cleared up?
Why has the UKBA got a backlog of work that has been estimated will take 37 yrs to clear?
Why has the UKBA boss misled and given incorrect information to the Home Affairs Select Committee? Should we be blaming the Minister responsible for not doing there jobs?
But isn't it that the Govt Ministers are diverting public attention away from themselves and demonising immigrants thus fooling the public - again!

How much benefits do the immigrants get? whee do they spend them, here in theUK while all therich people are gone every year on holiday elsewhere and spend what they earn benefits or something else.

I used to think that it is only among the lowly ones in this country that ignorance and illetracy pervades until I heard the Cameron and nick Clegg's speeches on immigration. I now know the full meaning of 'educated illiterates' No wonder some of the country's Council leaders have quickly come out to debunk the lies of the prime minister about immigrants and social housing. including some well meaning leaders like David Walker, the Bishop of Dudley who correctly stated that politicians were simply exaggerating the immigration problem -and as noted above to hide their failure at governance.
According to this government and others that have been brainwashed by reactionary elements and groups: 'immigrants are taking our jobs' 'immigrants are taking our benefits' Yet no one is wise enough to ask how a group who are snapping up jobs could at the same time be taking up and living on benefits.
I'm sure many people would be appalled by the 'blame the victim' mentality that Cameron and his types are using to address the problems facing the counrty by making immigration the scape-goat instead of addressing their competence at resolving the problems.
.Immigrants have been here for years unoticed until racists, reactionary and incompetent elements and others like Farage and the Daily Rags and Migration Watch of Andrew Green began to whip up sentiments. No one has yet been able to mention any country in the world that has been 'swamped' by immigrants or whose facilities have been grounded by immigrants -except in the twisted minds of reactionary elements. Not even Spain that most recently granted amnesty to a whopping 800,000O migrants in one fell swoop!
One brainwashed ri recently reported how a certain high street stores in UK filled their work places with Polish citizens who are being paid high wages. But he did not bother to ask himself the question as to where are the so called British citizens who wanted to work, when these Poles were being hired.
I am certain that many well-meaning people will reason with the latest pronouncement of Ed Milliband of the Labour Part which offers one of the most sensible way of handling the problem -not twisted policies like driving immigrants -whether legal or illegal into homelssness or making them sleep on the streets as a consequence of the policies announced by Cameron- a policy which apart from compounding the already worsened situation of homelessness and people sleeping on the streets of UK also puts into question the mindset and humanity of the makers. Already the immigrant communities themselves now aware of the divide and rule policy are now very awake and monitoring the landscape against 2015.
As mentioned elsewhere, I reitrate that if the UK did not want immigrants on its soil, the solution is very simple: relocate the country to Mars or Uranus or some other obscure place in space where the country can rest in piece with other like-minded anti-immigrant species. For as long as you have UK citizens in other countries on this planet- even if only ONE person, then the country is open to ALL comers and there is sure nothing anyone can do about it -not even with a million border force, or a million Farages or Andrew Greens or Camerons of this world.

Yawn. Another attempt to bash the UKIP from a self-serving, smug lefty charity worker who is coining it in from her organisations donations. She has the nerve to talk off scare mongering yet she can't get past trying to paint the UKIP as a neo fascist organisation herself. Sack all these useless morons, stop their charitable status and use the cash to improve the system. Im sure mummy and daddy will subsidise her nightly bottle of bolly until she finds another cause to cash in on.

The irony is that UKIP has not done better because of immigration. It has done better because people are fed up with the major political parties, and want a vehicle to register their protest.

In Eastleigh you used to be able to do that by voting LibDem, but it is part of the establishment now.

Has anyone read the news today that at last Theresa May is taking a look at the UKBA and actually taking it under her control. She has had nearly 3 yrs to do this! She knew the problem in 2010 and did nothing. John Ried when he was Home Sec said the UKBA wasn't fir for purpose! The UKBA Independent Chief Insp John Vine has done numerous reports on the incompetence of the UKBA. It has 325,000 illegal immigrants lost in the Uk and paper work it is estimated will take 24 yrs to clear up! So why oh why when Theresa May took over in 2010 didn't she start by making the UKBA efficient instead of chasing other useless and incompetent policies which the Courts in many cases have been found under UK Law to be unlawful. May and Co have wasted 3 yrs chasing their tails achieving zero at the expense of British citizens. Like the NHS guy who ignored patients May has ignored British security and we are paying the price! Like Nicholson in the NHS May should go and put in a politician who can do the job! If we can find one?

Donna Oettinger (and Zackary) did not satisfy the income threshold, RIP.

I think the Abu Qatada situation shows just how incompetent May, the Home Office, UKBA, police, secret service are in that in the time AQ has been in the UK they haven't found any grounds / evidence with which to prosecute and convict him for his alleged offences.
He has been able to get housing, benefits, legal aid and lead the Home Secretary a merry dance for years. Someone should be asking exactly what has been the total cost of all this to the British taxpayer and why have all these Govt depatments and Ministers etc been so drastically unsuccessful? Is it that having someone like AQ in the country distracts the public's attention away from realising just how incompetent all these public funded Ministers bodies and departments are? That allows them to go off and waste money on wild goose chases like destroying the family lives of respectable tax paying British citizens who just happen to be married to a NON EU spouse. Yet May can't touch an EU national bringing their NON EU spouse into the UK. One law if you are EU and another if you are a Brit then Ms May!

Perhaps you folks should read the Article in yesterdays Times by David Aaronovitch titled - ' Forget concerns on migration- here are the facts'. He has obviously done his research.
He goes on to say ' our leaders are meekly following a misinformed public opinion, in a truthless dance to UKIP tune'.
He is informed factual thoughtful and witty. He ends his article by politicians - 'are all dancing to the farage!

Yesterday the Times featured an article by David Aaronovitch titled - 'Forget Concerns on Migration. Here are the facts'.
DA had obviously done his research and his points were concise factual and witty.
He says -' Our leaders are meekly following misinformed public opinion, in a truthless dance to a ULIP tune'.
DA ends his article with the comment -. The tune they have all adopted to which they are making their jerky , uncomfortable, truthless dance is not theirs or even the voters. They are dancing to the farage.
In todays Huff Post online is a report that - 'David Cameron is Accused of Peddling Immigration benefits Myths'.
This is supported by the Institute of Public Policy Research and the National Institute of Economic and Social Research.
But perhaps a more apt report is in todays Daily Mail which says that in a book Farage published in 2011 he says of his own party's members - they include ' blazered buffoons and unschooled oiks who have not progressed beyond the 1050s in their attitudes towards other cultures. Seems to sum it all up doesn't it?

Ruth, Cameron is a PR man, why are you surprised that his speech is all was all poisonous spin and no substance. Its why the right, many liberals and even some Labour are deserting to UKIP.

When you say migrants don't access benefit, that is because they can't until they get settlement. They can use the NHS and send their children to school which is very expensive and costs the state on average about £5,000 per child, per year.

There is also the point when migrants are no longer migrants. If they become citizens and are still a drain on the economy, do you still count them as migrants?

I.... or rather my stepson has a problem his visitors vis.He was refused a second time for entirely different reasons than his first rejection.However they said.(UKBA Beijing) that he can appeal aganst their decision,stating that all relavent documents should be sent.The problem being,what document is required for someone who has not traveled outside his country before,and what document is required for being uncertain of your education.

I acknowledge the fact of nobody being excluded on the benefit side however you have to see something on a community point of view.
Well I hate to break it to the liberals and the revolutionary groups, we have seen a huge slump of some of the well established areas in UK, especially across London. Instead of integrating with British values we have to adapt to their culture. Anyone mentioned about the spitting fine, you might appreciate someone blatantly spitting in public and what so most people do just turn a blind eye. Personally spitting is disgusting and spreads disease not something you want other parents to apply to their own children (the new society of Britain). This in most cases doesn't apply to British way of life and quite frankly many won't stand for it anymore which is why more fines can now take place.
I would like to emphasise this isn't targeted to any specific group or community, it is how most of the British people see things everyday in the real world. Above all our government has finally realised that we can cut-down the amount of social housing and overly generous benefits to say no more. I believe a party like UKIP appears the way forward, taken from someone that use to support Labour.

A good government should be fair to all. A fair society is a progressive society. When people are treated fairly, they feel appreciated and would want to contribute their own quota to the growth of their host country. People should not be treated fairly or unfairly because of their nationality. Rather they should be considered based on their values. Simply because an individual has a coloured skin does not make that individual worth less than their counterpart. On the other hand, because an individual has a white skin does not make him more important than a coloured-skin man.

There are so many coloured-skin people who have unbelievable number of qualifications under their belt but cannot get a suitable jobs. It seems to me that the colour of your skin reduces your capacity for sound judgement.

Peace

Your article is utter rubbish,. I am half Polish decent myself, when I heard that Poland was coming into the EU far back in early 2000's I knew then we would be invaded by mass amounts of Poles,when I would visit family in Poland years ago most Poles would speak Of UK as if it was some golden city paved with gold on streets and money for all everywhere.... All you pro Immigrants out there are ONLY saying it because your more than likley involved in some way with one yourselves so come on OWN UP WILL YOU.... be it a partner or similar way.... Poland used to be very poor, just Like Romania is and Bulgaria, yet we have allowed an open door policy to this countries, who can legally take off our benefit system as long as they take the low paid jobs, as it will be topped up by benefits... this is so wrong, the recent reports that have come out on immigration has only confirmed whats happened, that over 50% of the uk is under huge pressures from migrant here, in fact its properly allot worse that the evidence as no one can write that down in statistics, this is not right, not fair on British people, this can only be described as genocide, I actually feel very ashamed now of my polish ancestry due to the behavior and mass amounts of Poles here, they do not want to integrate just like others, shops opening up selling only their own foods etc, which is stupid because Polish food isn't that different to what you can already buy here, i have had two cousins who have to come UK, and have been HOUSED! Yes HOUSED by the council, yet I have been on a waiting list since 2006, i get told i wont get housed because i rent privately, and now my own daughter who needs housing and has two little twin boys is fighting a council to be even reconised as needing housing, she having to take Ealing council to court over it!!!!! you tell me is that right?... there's Brits been put out of work such as builders, plumbers, electricians etc, all who have lost their business and homes because of this... and yet you set up a website bleeting on saying this tidal wave of immigration isnt not having a negative effects of British people, your a LIAR..... LIES LIES LIES shame on you.. SHAME ON YOU, lets see if you have the guts to publish this...

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