The tensions between competing social and economic objectives are explored in two contrasting ‘stories’ this week.
The Daily Mail headline on the 10 November 2014, “Is there no one left in Britain who can make a sandwich”, highlights a recruitment drive in Hungary for workers to fill 300 posts in a new £35 million pound factory in Northampton.
Meanwhile a report on the “unhappy state of Commonwealth migration in the UK” rehearses the history of migration from those 53 states comprising 2.5 billion people with a GDP of $8.3 trillion USD (2012) calling for a new generous approach to Visas for business, tourism, exceptional talent and post study work visas.
The Commonwealth report actually highlights the fragrantly racist approach in the 1960’s Immigration Acts removing the ‘right’ of global British citizenship from non-white peoples and favouring citizenship by ancestry (partiality) “the near total of which would be white” (page 13).
Perhaps therefore despite that recognition it is not so odd that the key note headline generated by a foreword from Boris Johnson is that a first step in increasing migration from the Commonwealth should be a bilateral agreement with Australia the beneficiaries of which would likely be also a ‘near total…white’.
What are not addressed are the wider global disparities of income, labour conditions, educational opportunities and health care provision, so dramatically brought to the fore by the ‘Ebola crisis’. It is also worth remembering that the free movement of EU labour was to be accompanied by social and employment safeguards (The Social Chapter). An anathema to big business and its political parties.
Caustic comment is made about access to tax credits for Hungarian workers who would qualify for tax credits because of low wages (State subsidy to employers) although in reality how insignificant would this be compared to the amazing ability of multi-nationals to avoid tax (Luxembourg).
Whilst the political representatives of capital ponder alternative immigration agendas there is another agenda which rarely sees the light of day given the power of corporate lobbying, namely the case for a global minimum wage the taxation of international capital flows and transactions. Instead by way of contrast an enormous amount of time and effort is expended on the transatlantic trade deal.
Moving from the global to the individual, rarely is any outcome more important to a person and their family than decisions made by states concerning immigration status. These are life changing and the work of an immigration Solicitor in London is richly rewarding when the life opportunities of clients are so dramatically changed by positive immigration outcomes.