I have a great respect for Alex Massie, both as an author and as a journalist. It is therefore disappointing to read him claim (Perspective, 7 July), as others have done in the past, that “immigration can revitalise Scotland” and that “we need immigrants to help pay for our pensions”.
These and other mantras have long been demolished by the Home Office research department, which said: “The impact of immigration in mitigating population ageing is widely acknowledged to be small, because migrants also age.”
Another argument in favour of immigration was to arrest a falling population, which had an element of truth to it until about 2001. Then, from a population of five million, the 2010 survey showed an increase in population to 5.222 million, with a projection to 5.255m in 2011, due to immigration from other parts of the UK and abroad.
The most tragic loss to Scotland is the outflow of our young people, which between the 1991 and 2001 censuses has averaged 21,000. This net emigration of young people is due to the desire to obtain better jobs than are available in Scotland.
Figures from the recent Scottish Annual Population Survey lay bare the scale of unemployment for young people in Scotland, where unemployment has been increasing since 2004, when it was 209,000.
What Scotland needs is more jobs, not more immigrants.
United Kingdom Independence Party Scotland
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Saturday 25 May 2013
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