'Oh, so that's who Richard Morris is..." Lord Hattersley on The Daily Politics

'An influential activist' - The Guardian

'Iain Dale, without the self loathing' - Matthew Fox in The New Statesman

You are a tinker...' - Tim Farron

Thursday, 10 October 2013

I have so many problems with this Immigration Bill, I barely know where to begin

You could do worse than pop over to see George Eaton's excellent critique of the Immigration bills flaws, but if you can't be bothered, here's a bit of a rant of my own. I'm concentrating (for now) on the NHS bits

1. Health Tourism on the NHS is estimated to cost around £12m a year or 0.01% of the total NHS budget.

The costs of administering charging folk not qualified for NHS treatment is estimated at around £500m a year.

In other words, Theresa May is costing the taxpayer a lot of money to do this. So don't do it.

2. Theresa May has refused to quantify the costs of the health tourism, presumably because of (1) - but says the money is irrelevant because its the principle that counts. This is an unusual argument for the Tories to take (you'll recall they argued the opposite about cutting the top rate of income tax, where the principle was less important than the net tax take).

I have though to disagree anyway. The principle is wrong. I don't want a sick person to be suffering and cast out from our health service even if they are here illegally. I don't resent the 0.01% of the NHS budget spent treating them. Or as one person put it...


3. Let's not also forget that if someone has got an illness in the UK, it may be in our best interest to  treat them. Do we really want to cast someone suffering say from TB back on the streets? 

4. There is also a flaw in the argument here.  The case being put forward appears to be that you can't walk into a shop and take what you want without paying - why should you be able to do that in the NHS?

The problem is - if you're here illegally and sick, the correct analogy is not with a shop. It's with a food bank. In place for emergency's when you have nowhere else to turn. Of course, currently illegal immigrants cant access the NHS anyway - but now, failing to pay up £200 at the point of delivery will exclude you from the system

Also, as David Schnieder says

5. Presumably if the recent situation in Italy occurred here, with hundreds of potentially illegal immigrants drowning in the sea, Theresa May would have refused to let the emergency services help them because the folk in the water won't have paid their taxes? 

 6. Apparently this is not going to make medical staff and landlords act as immigration officers. I beg to differ. And it's not just the illegal immigrants who will suffer here - will everyone arriving at A&E say have to demonstrate their right to care? Are we just another step closer to having to prove ...our identity...

7. Today its illegal immigrants and folk on temporary visas. But singling out groups and their right  to care is a slippery slope. Who is next I wonder, on the May list?

I could go on. But you get the message.

The one argument Theresa May hasn't made publicly is, I believe,  the real reason she's putting these proposals forward  - to pander to the right of the Tory Party who look towards UKIP.

We should stop this.

No comments:

Post a Comment