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There is no evidence that new migrants to Britain are jumping the queue for
council and housing association homes to the detriment of any other
group, including white families, according to new research  published by the Equality and Human Rights Commission and the Local Government Association.

The Guardian reports that:

out of the 10.1 million council and housing association tenants in
Britain, 9 million are UK-born and just over 1 million were born
outside the country. It adds that only 183,300 – less than 2% – of
tenants arrived in Britain in the last five years and most of the 1
million are long-settled migrants who have been here for years and may
have become British citizens.

study, conducted by the excellent team at IPPR, found that more than 60% of new migrants
to Britain in the last five years are living in private rented
accommodation, with most newly arrived migrants banned from access to
social housing.

In any case, as Chris Ames rightly points out on the Guardian’s Comment is Free, government minister Margaret Hodge’s argument that "We should look at policies where the legitimate sense of entitlement felt by the indigenous family overrides the legitimate need demonstrated by the new migrants" is spurious. 

As usual, this type of proposal was dressed up in arguments about "promoting tolerance" rather than "inviting
division". It amounts to saying that immigrants should be discriminated
against for their own good and the goal of social cohesion.

The party politics of the proposal run along similar lines. In order to counter the British National party, some argue that mainstream parties should take also take a "rights for whites" line. But many, including Hodge’s next-door neighbour Jon Cruddas, have argued that feeding such prejudices just plays into the hands of racists.


Posted 30 Apr 2008 in Blog

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