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UK Public Services 'Must Prepare' for Bulgaria, Romania Migrants

Politics » BULGARIA IN EU | December 23, 2013, Monday // 12:03| Views: 2238 | Comments: 10
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Bulgaria: UK Public Services 'Must Prepare' for Bulgaria, Romania Migrants Bulgarians and Romanians have been able to work in the UK only in certain circumstances, but EU restrictions on movement will be lifted on 1 January. File photo

Ministers should take practical steps to help public services cope with the arrival of Bulgarian and Romanian migrants, a think tank has urged, as cited by BBC.

There should be more funds for housing, schools and policing, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) said.

Bulgarians and Romanians have been able to work in the UK only in certain circumstances, but EU restrictions on movement will be lifted on 1 January.

The Home Office said its focus was on ending abuse of movement within the EU.

Measures are already planned to restrict migrants' right to benefits.

Since Bulgaria and Romania joined the EU six years ago, their citizens have been able to work in the UK only if they are self-employed, have a job offer, or are filling specialist posts for which no British worker can be found.

Over the past month, the government has tightened the rules on benefit claims by EU citizens who come to the UK, amid growing concerns about a possible influx of Romanians and Bulgarians.

But the IPPR said the plans had been devised in an "atmosphere of panic and fear-mongering" and were largely "symbolic".

Instead, the institute said practical help was needed to deal with increased demands on the privately-rented housing sector and on police who may have to deal with more incidents of anti-social behavior by people unaware of UK laws and customs.

It also called for extra translators in schools and health centers.

It said there should be a "dedicated" pot of money to pay for the measures, from visa fees and the European Social Fund.

The IPPR's report criticized the abolition in 2010 of the Migration Impacts Fund which helped local authorities deal with unexpected pressure on public services.

The institute recommended that a new fund should be set up and cabinet sub-committee assigned to support councils.

IPPR senior research fellow Alex Glennie said: "It is entirely legitimate for politicians to be concerned about the pace and scale of European migration flows, not least because this is an issue about which there is so much public anxiety. But the political response has been more symbolic than substantive.

"Failure to properly prepare for the rapid inflow of citizens from the previous group of eight states in 2004 and the effects that this had on communities was short-sighted, and led to a number of avoidable problems. It also polarized the broader migration debate in the UK.

She added: "Since then, the UK has had 10 years of experience managing the impact of migration from these countries.

"The past decade has shown that the UK's economy and society are flexible enough to adapt to and benefit from European migration flows, as long as the pressure points they create are quickly identified and addressed.

"There is little to suggest that these lessons have been learned and applied in the run up to January 1st, but even now it is not too late to take some practical steps to alleviate any issues that might arise."

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» To the forumComments (10)
sa-sha - 29 Dec 2013 // 11:06:14

"Yes but these are mostly genuine hard working EU migrants from France, Holland, Poland etc..."-----source of these data, if possible ("etc" especially)?

joppy - 29 Dec 2013 // 00:25:26

@madoods "EU is providing money for them", that is misleading the EU is giving out loans, not providing money, loans which we will have to pay back 10x their value. We don't have any money of our own since the EU owns all our industry, which we privatized at the end of the cold war. The cold war cost us financially and after the collapse and bankruptcy of the USSR, we lost out prime market leaving us with no choice but to join the Western/EU Bloc so we don't end up isolated like Cuba, North Korea and Iran currently are. Joining this Bloc came with a number of conditions: 100% privatization of all state assets - the trigger of the 90s economic crisis, following the crisis we had no choice but to take out loans, now you know what I mean by being forced to borrow.

@countryhick1 Johnny English is giving out facts, data from the University College London whereas you are giving your personal opinion. The reality is most Bulgarians don't even emigrate to the UK, in-fact most don't even emigrate to EU member states.

countryhick1 - 28 Dec 2013 // 20:24:13

"EU migrants in UK 2.2 million EU migrants contributed £8.8 billion more in taxes than they received in benefits"

Yes but these are mostly genuine hard working EU migrants from France, Holland, Poland etc.
Not the lazy you have money and we don't Bulgarians that have no skills to offer and only want our social.
Stay in Bulgaria, have two days beer and kebabs and then wait for your social again

Johnny English - 28 Dec 2013 // 14:24:52

The FACTS based on an analysis of all available data by University College London for the period 1995-2011:

EU migrants in UK 2.2 million
EU migrants contributed £8.8 billion more in taxes than they received in benefits

Non-EU migrants in UK 6.1 million
Non-EU migrants received £100 billion more in benefits than they paid in taxes

Unless the UK wishes to continue to become a satellite state of India, Pakistan or Somalia then the facts clearly indicate where the burden and benefits of immigration lie.

Anon - 28 Dec 2013 // 11:36:14

You got that spot on. The country is broke, pay rises are non existent and living costs have gone up by a huge amount. ~The British taxpayer has every right to be hacked off. Its not personal to the Eastern Europeans, the country is just full up and services are creaking ready to implode. The politicians are as corrupt in the UK as they are in Bulgaria, they have just more experience in masking it.

TinuzH - 26 Dec 2013 // 00:06:35

But as an afterthought the EU as we know it is finished. By hanging on to a currency which no-one wanted and that was supposed to bring prosperity to all, well we see the results today. And expanding the Union at the same time our masters in Brussels made a great mistake. They will hang for a decade or two but the EU as it is cannot continue in its present form. And the days of "ever deeper union' are over. They just don't get it yet.

TinuzH - 25 Dec 2013 // 23:08:33

What I really don't understand is the tone of the discussion in the UK. Yes basically all Western- European countries regret letting Romania and Bulgaria into the EU. Well they are in. Blame your own politicians and not Romanians and Bulgarians seeking a better life through labour.

Why is the tone of the discussion in the UK so loud, obnoxious and shrill? When Germany, Belgium and the Netherlands are deporting EU 'benefit seekers' in greater numbers. And they do it according to EU laws. And they are even clamping down their benefits systems further for new arrivals. All still within EU laws and they want to go further and change the EU systems.

Why are those countries still telling 'everyone that wants to work is welcome' and the UK is not? Yes, UK, you have a point but first change your own benefit system and for changes in treaties for new arrivals in the EU you have allies. But please stop this obnoxious tone and let people who just want a job and work in. This whole tone is undignified to the UK.

And UK why are your public services not prepared? They've had 7 years. So please go and blame your own politicians.

madoods - 25 Dec 2013 // 21:42:50

Which non Bulgarians has Bulgaria been forced to borrow money to provide for? The Syrians have only just arrived and the EU is providing money for them - eventually. The UK is in debt to the tune of 1.3 trillion GBP. I admit it is largely the fault of their politicians that non UK citizens are catered for in preference to their own citizens, and the same is starting to happen here..........lessons need to be learned from the mistakes other countries have made, but there is no need to demand that the conditions in those countries must be made even worse for their citizens...... and BTW I am not British

joppy - 25 Dec 2013 // 20:35:14

We were also forced to borrow money which got us massively into debt and has led us into the poverty we are in now. Now you know what it feels like, get used to it.

madoods - 25 Dec 2013 // 14:47:23

What I do not understand is why the UK is expected to fund everyone else's easy transition to access schools, free universities, free healthcare, free translation services, free housing and benefits when UK expats must pay for these things themselves when they move to other countries - or sign documentation stating that they will not take benefits from other countries, particularly Bulgaria. What I also do not understand is why the British are hated when they object to their money being used in this way, which is depriving their own elderly, sick and young of the things they need. The UK has been forced into borrowing money to fund this provision for everyone else and is now massively in debt, hence no doubt the panic

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