Chelsea Message Board
THE reality of soft-touch Britain was laid bare yesterday by the president of Romania.
Traian Basescu praised his citizens for travelling abroad to seek the jobs of workshy locals.
Welfare payments in western countries were so high, people would rather sign on the dole and let his countrymen take their jobs instead, he said. Although he did not mention this country specifically, Britain is the second most popular destination after Germany for Romanian migrants.
The president’s remarks are sure to provide encouragement for further migration to countries like Britain as he backed his people’s desire to find work overseas instead of being a burden on the state at home.
His comments revealed why countries such as ours are a magnet for people from all over the world. They also underlined the urgent need for the benefit reform promised by the coalition Government, and for action to train Britain’s own army of unemployed to take jobs instead of languishing on benefits while foreign workers fill vacancies.
Some 100,000 Romanians are working in the UK, up from 7,600 recorded as living here in the 2001 census
Official figures estimate that some 100,000 Romanians are working in the UK, up from 7,600 recorded as living here in the 2001 census.
Romania is one of the EU’s newest members, having joined only in 2007.
Mr Basescu used a TV broadcast publicly to thank the Romanians who live and work abroad instead of signing up for benefits at home.
“Imagine if the two million Romanians working in Italy, Spain, France, Germany came back to ask for unemployment benefits in Romania, when we already have deficits in the unemployment funds,” he said.
“So to these people that stay abroad, we have to thank them for what they are doing for Romania.”
Romania did not have enough jobs for its workforce, he said. And he credited the boom in overseas working on workshy Westerners and their generous welfare systems.
“Romania comes a lot behind states like Italy and Spain. In those countries, the social protection is at a level that makes Italians and Spanish, for example, feel comfortable to stay unemployed rather than working in hard manual tasks.
“Romanians do that hard labour for them to earn better and make more money than they could at home.” As well as the chance to work in the UK, citizens from other EU countries can access some British benefits straight away, such as child benefit, which they can claim even if their children are living in their home countries.
After 12 months in Britain they can apply for other payments such as unemployment benefits, which are much higher than what they would receive in Romania.
Fiona McEvoy, of the TaxPayers’ Alliance, said: “President Basescu has held a mirror up to our welfare culture and identified the lack of incentives to work that mean so many UK nationals pick welfare over work, and so many migrants flock here to cash in.”
Ukip MEP Nigel Farage said: “We cannot blame the Romanians for taking what they can get but we can blame our own Government for allowing British workers’ wages to be forced down and jobs to be handed over to those prepared to work for less.”
A spokesman for the Romanian Embassy in Britain stressed that President Basescu had not mentioned Britain in his TV interview.
He said Italy and Spain alone accounted for about two million Romanian workers, while embassy estimates suggested there were no more than 100,000 Romanians working in the UK.
“Most Romanians wanting to work in the UK have to apply for formal authorisation, which is issued for skilled workers only where it is shown their jobs could not be filled by British or other EU nationals,” he said. “Unskilled workers are restricted to agriculture and seasonal food processing.”
According to a study by the Romanian recruitment website tjobs.ro, however, the UK is the second most popular destination after Germany for Romanians seeking to work abroad.
The number of Romanians coming here is expected to soar thanks to tough austerity measures at home. A 25 per cent cut in public sector pay has seen a surge in doctors and nurses applying for jobs in the UK.
First The Poles and now this
Disgusting Stuff Tezza