IMMIGRATION: ‘We have more migrants than the economy can sustain’


A senior borough councillor says Boston has more migrants than its economy can sustain.

Conservative Mike Gilbert, a member of the borough council’s cabinet, spoke about the constituency opinion study - which found people in Boston and Skegness to be more negative about the impact of immigration than anywhere else in the UK.

Coun Gilbert said: “The extent of inward migration to the UK has been far greater than the British economy has been able to absorb. But we have to recognise that there are different types of migration - with migrants from different backgrounds.

“In Boston, we have got significantly larger amounts of migrants than the local economy is able to sustain. It wouldn’t have had the level of impact it has if it wasn’t for the sheer number. Without the availability of in-work benefits, tax credits, child benefit and housing-related financial support, the number of migrants coming to the town would be significantly less.

“The Government needs to look at the whole situation of migration in terms of economics and what’s driving this element of the working market. What’s driving the numbers here is the welfare benefit system.

“Since 2001 the profile of the migrant community has changed from being largely single people who come here to work, save up the money, and then return home - to families settling here.

We want to return to days when young people came here to work, saved up money and then went back to their country of origin.”

He added: “But people need to be aware that Boston doesn’t have the wide-spread issues that some other areas of the country have as we predominantly attract Eastern European economic migrants who work.”