Migrants 'reliant' on benefits
By Duncan Gardham
The degree to which new immigrants rely on benefits and council housing has been revealed by a survey that looks at how much foreigners contribute to the economy.
The league tables have been compiled by the Left-leaning Institute for Public Policy Research on behalf of Dispatches, to be shown on Channel 4 tonight. The figures come from the census and the quarterly Labour Force Survey.
Somalians rely heavily on benefits, according to the statistics – 80 per cent live in social housing and 39 per cent claim income support.
Nearly half of newly-arrived Turks – 49 per cent – rely on social housing, 52 per cent do not work and 21 per cent claim income support. However, 35 per cent are self-employed.
Other nationalities rely on sickness benefit 10 per cent of those newly arrived from Pakistan claim it, along with nine per cent from Cyprus, and eight per cent from Kenya, Ireland and Jamaica.
Poles work longer hours for less pay and are paid less sickness benefit than almost any other group.
Nigerians are among the best educated, most likely to be working in the public sector and least likely to claim sickness benefit.
British-born workers score below average in most of the tables they claim more sickness benefit and council housing and work shorter hours.
The authors said: “There are some immigrant communities who rank consistently lower on most indicators.
“In some cases, these communities are predominantly made up of people who are here for non-economic reasons – for example, to join family members, or to seek asylum.”
There were fears that the documentary would play into the hands of far-Right wing groups such as the BNP.
Keith Vaz, the Labour chairman of the home affairs select committee, said yesterday: “I would be very concerned at any programme which might turn immigrant groups against each other.
“Putting different ethnic groups into league tables is not the best way of securing an integrated society.”
Channel 4 said yesterday: “We think it is important that information such as this is placed in the public domain so that hard data rather than intuition and assumption can inform the current debate.”
28 September 2007: Immigration estimates out by 45,000 a year
23 September 2007: Foreigners 'commit fifth of crime in London'
19 September 2007: Police chief warns of migrant crime impact
14 September 2007: EU told to open door to 20m migrant workers
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