Dorset has a lower average birth rate than England and Wales at 8.3 births per 1000, compared with 12.1 nationally. It has a higher death rate than England and Wales at 11.5 per 1000 compared with 8.7 nationally. This is due to the fact that it has a higher than average population of over 65s at 28%, compared with 17.9% across England and Wales. This puts pressure on adult and care services, with a projected growth of 50% in the over 65s over the next 25 years. So without in-migration to the area, there would be both a skilled and non-skilled workforce shortage and the population would decline.
The June 2015 statistic for unemployment claimants across the whole Dorset LEP (Local Economic Partnership), which includes Bournemouth and Poole UAs is 0.9% of working age residents totalling 4,141 people. There is simply not the pool of local workers available to fill the 20% of non UK workforce jobs in companies such as ‘Lush‘, which are found across Dorset. Unless, the unemployed from up north ‘get on yer bike(s)’ to ‘misquote’ Baron Tebbit (Cons).
This situation is replicated across most of the southern ‘shire’ counties which voted Leave, and indeed some that voted Remain such as West Berkshire. Forcing people to take unsuitable jobs, would not solve either the UK’s productivity challenges or fill all the vacancies.
Then there is the skilled workforce, which has been a victim of underinvestment for years by UK governments. The educated, skilled workforce are more likely to be net contributors rather than net beneficiaries in terms of tax, meaning that they give more than they receive. To use an endearing term from the Torygraph, ‘givers’ rather than ‘takers’ are where a household’s gross income exceeds roughly £38,000 (2014/2015).
‘2014/2015 50.8% of all households received more in benefits (including benefits in kind) than they paid in taxes, equivalent to 13.6 million households.’ (ONS)
Now, I don’t object to the redistribution of wealth through taxation. Nor do I object to caring for our growing elderly population, believing it to be a mark of civilisation. However, there firstly has to be wealth to redistribute (you can’t get rid of all those ‘rich elites’ overnight, as many commenters on the DM, DE and BBC HYS boards are suggesting) and secondly, the average taxpayer needs to realise that they are NOT paying for themselves let alone immigrants.
Zacchaeus the Tax Collector, Luke 19