Questions for our politicians

Regarding ‘Leaving borders open defies common sense’ (Mercury letters, May 9), I am deeply worried by the rumour that immigrants are stopping British people from working.

It is an emotive issue and if this statement is repeated enough and becomes a mantra, we could head for social unrest. Without hard facts we risk stirring up anger, resentment and even hatred.

Here are 10 of the many questions I would like to ask the politicians to help us to establish the extent of the problem and arrive at a sensible strategy:

What is the percentage of non-British workers in the UK?

In which industries are they working?

What type of contracts do they hold in comparison with British workers (temporary, part time etc

What is the average salary of a non-British worker—across a range of industries and job types so it’s not skewed by non-UK workers in very senior management positions—and how does this compare with the salaries of British workers in similar roles?

If British workers replace overseas workers and are paid more, what is the impact on company profitability?

If the source of (allegedly) less expensive labour dries up, will companies simply relocate overseas?

Is this a new phenomenon? How many jobs have UK companies relocated abroad in the form of call centres in the last 10 years?

What is the value of supplies imported by UK companies?

How much do we, the average Brit, spend on imported goods and food—and how many jobs could be created if we purchased British goods, food and services?

If non-British workers represent better value for money—for example, if they are perceived to have a better work ethic and are more highly qualified, what can British workers learn from this?

Come on politicians—give us some proper answers so that your constituents can have proper debates and make informed judgments about your policies.

Actually, now I’ve put pen to paper I’m wondering how one actually does get a politician to answer these questions …?

Serena Bradshaw