There is no doubt that if the money were spent in Britain, it would create British jobs

The economy is losing £4.9million every day because of the huge sums immigrants send home to their relatives, official figures show. Analysis by the Office for National Statistics found that £4.1billion was sent out of the UK by migrants working here in 2007. The figure is almost double the £2.3billion sent home in 1998, reflecting the huge increase in the number of migrant workers under Labour. The total amount sent out of the UK over the past decade is £31.5billion.

Britons working abroad are also sending significant sums of cash home to relatives living here. In 2007, they sent £ 2.3billion to the UK, exactly the same level as in 1998. But this still leaves a net outflow from the UK of £1.8billion, or £4.9million a day.

The figures, released in a letter to MPs by National Statistician Karen Dunnell, also show that the amount being sent home in remittances now rivals overseas aid in the support it provides to poorer economies. In 2008, the overseas aid budget was £6.3billion.

Campaign group Migrationwatch UK said the £4billion cost of remittances was the equivalent of the two new aircraft carriers planned for the Royal Navy. Chairman Sir Andrew Green said: ‘We are not suggesting that remittances should be stopped – they are an important source of revenue for many families across the world – but claims that there are only positive economic benefits from mass immigration are clearly untrue. ‘For years we have been told that immigration can only benefit the economy. But when the evidence is examined, that claim falls apart. ‘As employment of foreign-born workers has risen, employment of UK-born workers has fallen. And now we find that remittances have shot up. So much for the benefits of uncontrolled immigration.’

Sir Andrew added that last year the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs found ‘no evidence’ that net immigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population. The remittance figures relate to 2007, the latest period analysed by the ONS. But the total for 2008 – when Britain slid into recession – may be even higher, some analysts say.

In a recent speech, Trevor Phillips, chairman of the Equality and Human Rights Commission, predicted that ‘as the financial crisis squeezes the developing world’ migrants would send home more money ‘to see relatives through the bad patch’.

The Government, recognising huge public concern about the scale of immigration when the economy is in such deep trouble, last month reduced the number of work permits available to non-EU migrants. But critics believe the number of non-EU workers is only likely to fall by around 24,300.

Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said: ‘People from overseas poured a record £14.2billion into the UK economy in 2007. ‘The Government has made it clear that migration only works if it benefits the British people. That’s why our tough new Australian- style points system allows in only those workers we need – and no more.’

SOURCE

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