Welfare Reform bill – My reply to John McDonnell MP

Dear John

I saw your eye catching response to the Welfare Reform Bill in Parliament on line (Below)

You raise some very valid points but as usual fail to identify the root causes of the issues in our area.

As UKIP’s Hayes & Harlington spokesman and effectively the opposition party in the constituency, here is my reply to your speech.

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The government don’t understand the problem

UKIP Hillingdon Press Release – 22nd June 2015 

For immediate release 

The Conservative Government today launched a policy making it clear that any non EU migrant working in the UK would have to earn over £35k per annum within six years of arriving in the UK or face deportation.

CD leaflet image jpegCommenting on the news, UKIP Hillingdon Chairman and spokesman for the Hayes & Harlington constituency, Cliff Dixon, stated, “There are many people working within our NHS doing vital jobs that pay far less than the threshold at which the Government is setting these new regulations.

During the recent General Election campaign, I pointed out how the NHS is having difficulty recruiting trained technicians for research in to infectious diseases at a number of our top hospitals, including The Royal Free which is leading the fight against Ebola. They are losing out under current rules where those much needed professionals are going instead to Australia, Canada and the USA. Now they will be faced with the reality of losing the technicians they already have with an inability to replace them from within our current talent pool in the UK.

Our own hospital at Hillingdon, already stretched for staff to the extent that they had to spend over £1 million in the final quarter of last year on agency nurses, will see even more shortages that will result in further overspend to bring in temporary workers from the private sector”

Once again, the government ignores the real problem of unlimited, uncontrolled migration from EU member states at the expense of trained professionals from the rest of the world.

Press release ends

Related links

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-33201189

BBC News report on the new regulations

http://www.ukip.org/_instead_of_sticking_it_to_the_nhs_tories_should_steal_even_more_ukip_policies_to_make_britain_better

Response from UKIP Migration spokesman, Steven Woolfe MEP

A picture of life outside the European Union (EU) – 2020

You will hear a lot of scare stories about how our country will struggle if we leave the EU from those in the ‘Yes’ campaign.

Here is what it could really be like……..

 

EDP pictures 028The year is 2020 and Britain is adjusting to life and thriving outside of the declining European Union.

Free from the need to negotiate trade deals via unelected EU commissioners, a series of agreements with the emerging nations of the world have boosted exports and revitalised our industries. Unwilling to lose their largest European market, the remaining EU states have swiftly confirmed free trade agreements with the UK and the job losses predicted by the ‘Yes’ campaign fail to materialise.

Re-engaging with our traditional world partners, most notably the Commonwealth, has invigorated our shipping industries and cities such as Liverpool and Glasgow once again hum to the sound of machinery as exports grow and vessels come and go, offloading such produce as New Zealand lamb and transporting out machinery exports, pharmaceuticals and high tech equipment.

With much of the EU red tape removed from our small and medium industries they once again start to drive economic growth. Repeal of EU diktat on renewable energy and the large combustion plant directive means that energy once again becomes cheaper, driving down costs for businesses and making them more competitive on the world stage.

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The Housing Crisis – Time to put our community first!

Homes in HayesMuch was made in the recent General Election of the impending shortage of housing in both our area and England as a whole.

In Hillingdon, we have seen an 82% increase in population since 1939 (From 159,000 to 289,000) with the GLA estimating that we will see 316,000 people resident in our borough by 2039. Between 2001 and 2011 alone, the population grew by 30,000, three times the amount that was predicted.

Despite the building of new estates in Ruislip and West Drayton, with another currently underway on the old RAF site in Uxbridge, the shortfall in supply has seen prices to both buy and rent spiral to such a degree that the average age of a first time buyer is now nearly 40 and many of our children are unable to afford to leave home.

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Immigration – An inconvenient truth

During the recent General Election campaign, I was asked a very good question at the Hayes & Harlington hustings – “With the debate on immigration being driven by negativity, how can we turn immigration from a negative back to being a positive?”

Hayes hustings April 2015My answer was fairly detailed, but a part of it was reported in some media quarters as ‘silencing the room’ and by some on Twitter as being ‘disgusting’, so with the events of the last week I wish to put the record straight.

The answer, quite simply, is by regaining control of our borders so we can monitor both the quality and quantity of those wishing to come to the UK.

When I was growing up in the seventies and eighties, immigration was running at levels far below those of today. Moreover, before the advent of the European Union in its current form, we had the ability to say who we would and wouldn’t accept in to our country. Because of this, those coming here were predominantly looking to build a better life for themselves through hard work, skill set and integration. In my reply, I pointed to the Ugandan Asians who fled from Idi Amin as a great example of positive immigration, people who have settled and brought with them a tremendous work ethic that has benefitted both our country and their families who are now second and third generation Britons.

The NHS also benefited from immigration in the seventies, with gaps in the service being filled by newcomers taking up positions that we couldn’t fill from our own pool of workers.

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Housing Strategy – In need of a rethink?

Another week, and more confused messages in Hillingdon regarding housing. 

Recently, West Drayton and South Hayes were designated as ‘The Heathrow Opportunity Area’ by Hillingdon Council, enabling the building of offices and hotels with minimum requirements for planning permission to be sought, leading to fears of West Drayton High Street becoming a carbon copy of the A4 Bath Road. 

I have pointed out before that this is a flawed strategy – After all, we have an abundance of empty office space in the Borough, but affordable housing is at a premium due to the combination of an increased birth rate and mass immigration. 

However, if we take this on face value, and the Council strategy is to build up industry in West Drayton, then surely some of that excess office space in Uxbridge could be converted to residential use? Not according to the planners at Hillingdon Council, who have thrown out a plan to convert disused office space in Rockingham Road to flats, despite it having been empty for years and unlikely to be filled due to increased competition from newer office ‘parks’ on the Oxford Road.

Apparently, the planning committee felt that this would be an unacceptable loss of employment land, that it is mainly an industrial area, and that there were not enough local amenities for children.

With both Fassnidge Park and Rockingham Recreation Ground a short walk away, and substantial housing estates within a stones throw, it begs the question – Do they really know the area? 

Now we have the revelation that there are plans to loosen the laws governing houses of multiple occupation (HMO’s), encouraging small investors to buy up the remaining 3 and 4 bed housing stock on the market and then converting it to flats to make the maximum profit. This again decreases the amount of family orientated properties available, and encourages overcrowding and the breakdown of community ties. 

For once, I am in complete agreement with Hayes & Harlington MP John McDonnell, who has challenged this decision in The House of Commons, and called for the retention of the laws that mean planning permission must be sought before conversion of housing stock to HMO’s. 

So, what is the answer to our housing problems in the Borough? With straightened finances and cuts looming, I would at least suggest suspending mass immigration for now, with any new arrivals having to prove that they already have housing and employment arranged, and the means to support themselves. 

With new developments then coming on stream at the old NATS site in Porters Way, and the Hayes & Yeading football ground in Church Road, we really need to look at how ‘affordable’ housing is allocated to those on the waiting lists – The system has been abused for years, with hard working families penalised in favour of the feckless who play the system to get housed on ‘need’. 

Do the planners have the drive, direction and clarity of purpose to solve the problems? I hope so, but current events do not back up such optimism.