I suspect that things are very close but that Remain, with the backing of all the media outlets they control, is prevailing by a nose.
Dr Alf, this time introducing us to a piece from the Independent, wants Remain to switch to immigration on the basis of the view of the Economist that people will come to the UK in any event and that because of so many skills shortages we need them anyway.
This approach sounds plausible but represents a double-edged sword.
Certainly, we need Indian doctors for the NHS, foreign teachers and nurses to do the work that the indigenous population cannot do and refuse to do but we cannot ignore the infrastructure and services costs of having to build the equivalent of 1.5 London’s in 9 years to meet the ONS official population prediction of 80 million people by 2025, a figure which excludes the 7 million illegal immigrants already here, and any other migrants that might come as a result of the deal with Turkey and those that will come illegally using spare NI numbers and bogus documentation.
It also cannot ignore the need for more power generating capacity given the 15 to 20 year cycle of building that it takes to get a nuclear power station off the ground and safely up and running. Currently, we have 1.1% spare generating capacity over demand at peak and the EU is making us mothball and close coal-fired power stations and in some cases switch to burning wood pellets from America to meet our Climate Change obligations.
A population rise of 15.5 million people in 9 years is to be met by Hinckley Point, built by the Chinese and EDF, and by Bradwell in Essex built by the Japanese firm Hitachi when in reality no commercial deal has been done nor a single “sod” turned. We do not have the money officially to retrofit every house with triple glazing and energy-saving devices and most of the population cannot afford it either, so we cannot reduce demand by enough to bridge the gap between supply and demand and would therefore need to import more power from EDF in France, presumably at much greater cost, some think double present power bills with all that means for damaged industrial competitiveness.
We can take action to reduce demand on the health service by introducing variable taxes on foods and reducing sugar and salt content by immediate legislation and we can zone out fast food outlets and compel local authorities to pedestrianize more to force people to walk and exercise.
We can stop illegal migration by scrapping the present NI system which is a charter for people smugglers, jihadists and snake head gangs and replacing it with a system of 1 number per child born(Singapore does this) and one number per citizen, something that would require an interview on a face to face basis of everyone in the country charged to that person at a commercial rate or garnished from benefits or pensions as applicable. Those not entitled to be here would be deported thus freeing up living space for those who were.
By introducing an Australian style points system and a new lower tax regime we can attract well-heeled inward investors and reduce overall numbers of migrants, particularly those without skills.
Jobs of a menial nature which can be automated or robotised at a practical cost should be and concerted action against malingerers and fake Personal Independence claimants would reduce the benefits bill and cut local authority expenditure on Adult Social Care which now represents 55% of County Council budgets. Most Adult Social Care recipients are not looked after by relatives and lack the money to pay for their care. Those people need to be sent to India where they can be looked after at a fraction of the cost by the same Indian doctors, nurses and carers that we import into the country now to work in the NHS. The present system is not working, is unaffordable and is riven with broken processes of a similar nature to those Dr Alf talks about in his excellent post on productivity via the Harvard Business Review.
The costs of immigration of the unwanted kind have to be costed out and the risks to social cohesion if it is allowed to rise unchecked have to be assessed along with the costs of the measures to put a stop to it, but I see no real attempt to do any such thing.