Don’t make ‘scapegoats’ for our broken economy

I READ with interest about the ‘migrant protest’ and I would like to share my thoughts with your readers.

I share the urgent need to make our frustrations known to the politicians. I don’t accept the argument our local economy couldn’t cope without the migrants. Our MP blames locals he says are refusing agricultural work.

What a convenient way of deflecting the anger over immigration away from his Government and redirecting it onto local people! (who are unable to compete with a migrant labour supply which is more cost-effective for employers). And if he spent a bit more time here he would see it isn’t just agricultural jobs that foreign nationals are taking.

Our economic system demands increasing efficiency, even more so under the current political hysteria demanding greater austerity.

This means cuts, creating unemployment.

Employers demand greater flexibility, to keep their costs down.

Jobs are too often part-time or temporary, or even zero hour contracts. This is unsustainable for permanent residents.

Unemployment is not the only problem, underemployment is another, which doesn’t figure in unemployment statistics but keeps people in poverty and on benefits to top up their income. This subsidises the profits of employers and stigmatises the claimants.

Thatcher’s sell-off of gas, electricity, water and telephone has pushed up household (and business) outgoings.

This causes some people to feel they must take a second job, or puts unnecessary pressure on young mothers to work.

This puts more pressure on the jobs market.

In Boston landlords snapped up housing at higher prices than many local families could afford, seeing the potential to make money housing migrant workers.

If locals became unemployed Housing Benefit would pay for the higher rents. It is the benefit claimant that is demonised for the cost to the taxpayer, not the landlord who is the actual recipient.

In Boston there are not enough jobs and too much pressure on schools, medical services, housing and so on.

Is it because too many people have come here? Should I protest against my friends from Lithuania or Turkey?

What about my friends who came here from London or the Midlands? What about the Bostonians I know living abroad? Hope the locals there don’t protest against them.

Everyone has paid into the system but the authorities are not spending that money – which would create jobs – on the things we need.

The Government can spend it on nationalising bank debts, fighting wars in the name of human rights whilst threatening to abolish them at home, but they don’t want to spend money on giving people jobs to build or provide the things we need locally.

They know they can sit back and watch us blame each other instead of blaming them.

There are either too many people here or not enough work and housing – the balance is wrong – but I don’t want any of my friends or neighbours to be scapegoats for our broken economy and broken politics.

HELEN SHERIDAN-SHINN

Via email