Forman & Field managing director Lance Forman on positive immigration as EU restrictions are lifted


- Credit: Carmen Valino - on shift

Why don’t thieves like their children marrying scroungers? Because they worry that any offspring may be too lazy to steal.

The debate about immigration is completely misplaced. There seems to be an underlying feeling that potential immigrants from Bulgaria or Romania will come here, scrounge off our system, one they have never paid into and that we cannot afford that. Well the fact is that most people are not thieves, and scroungers, by their nature, are far too lazy to travel across Europe in the hope of receiving benefits.

The type of people who travel in search of a better life are aspirational.

They want to work and they want a better a life for themselves and their families. So why do we worry about immigration? Well perhaps it’s because we Brits are the lazy scroungers, living off a system which we jealously want to protect for ourselves.

If we genuinely think that Romanians and Bulgarians are coming here for our benefits; then there’s a simple answer, let’s tone down the benefits, not just to the newcomers, but to all.

As an employer, and apologies for the generalisation, we find the people who ­really want to work, and are fully motivated, are the East ­Europeans.

They are taught at school that to survive you have to work. There are no hand-outs if you don’t have a job. So they work, and we fear them.

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The fact is that if we don’t wake up to the situation that our country is both lazy and has overinflated expectations for its workforce, we will become a backward country being overtaken by those motivated to do well.

If we don’t employ hard- working people, they will work in their own or other countries making those economies more competitive than us.

We need to get into our heads that benefits are not really benefits at all. They are a burden; a burden on the individual disincentivising them to work and a burden on the nation.

Too much is given to those who think the state owes them something and too much is taken from those who strive for success.

Unless this balance changes we are destined for decline and one generation on our aspirational children will be seeking work in Poland.