The recent arrivals from eastern Europe have changed that. They earn less, on average, than the native population. Their numbers, we know, have been significant. Their effect, therefore, may genuinely have been benign – allowing most native workers to still enjoy reasonable pay and salary increases while reducing the rate of average earnings growth sufficiently to reassure the Bank.
We do not know, of course, how long this effect might last and it will not convince the doubters, of which there are many. Bob Rowthorn, emeritus professor of economics at Cambridge, argues that the economic benefits of immigration, to the extent that they exist, are “minor” and “transient”.
In the meantime, he suggests, “the interests of more vulnerable sections of the domestic population may well be damaged, and any economic benefits are unlikely to bear comparison with its substantial impact on population growth”.
It would be good to be able to refute this with proof that the economic benefits of migration are large and overwhelming. So far, however, that proof does not exist.
ISTO FOI RETIRADO DO THE TIMES...