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Ageing Western populations and falling birth rates – a demographic time bomb | Immigration Matters

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Western European countries like Germany, France and the UK all have two major problems which are catastrophically linked together: Ageing populations and falling birth rates.

The combined ‘demographic timebomb’ creates a whole raft of headaches for future governments, which past administrations have quietly swept under the carpet.

There is not just the question of who is going to care for our aging population, but who is going to pay for it. Looking after the elderly costs an awful lot of money, billions in fact, and it all comes directly from the working taxpayers pockets.

The state ‘old aged pension’, benefits and various allowances paid to retired people does not come from a fund of money collected from their lifetime of tax and national insurance contributions (which been spent) sitting in the treasury. It comes directly from today’s tax revenues created by businesses and able bodied working men and women.

There is no fund and there is no money left in the ‘kitty’ to fund pensions and long term care.

When pensions and ‘cradle to grave’ care was devised all this didn’t matter a bean. Why? Well, for a start we did not live very long. The average life expectancy beyond the state retirement age of 65 for a UK or US citizen was counted in months rather than years. And more importantly there were around four people working for every one retired. Today there are less than three in many Western countries and fast heading toward a sub two or dreaded 1 : 1 ratio. You do the maths.

To make things worse, up to one thousand people emigrate from Britain every day, mostly highly educated professionals taking their talent, skills and taxes elsewhere.

Even relatively young countries like Canada have a ‘baby boomer’ demographic problem on the horizon with millions of Canadians reaching retirement age.

Several books including ‘Boom, Bust & Echo’ by Foot and Stoffman and ‘2020: Rules for the New Age’ by Garth Turner cover the West’s demographic nightmare in more detail.

Turner explains that the big changes will be due to the fact that the ratio between the number of working people to the number of retired people will change dramatically over the next few decades:

‘When most boomers were in their teens, there were six Canadians like them, under the age of 20, for every person over 65. Today there are about three young people for every senior. By 2020, the ratio will be even more frightening. This will have profound consequences on our entire society.

‘Demographic changes will have a major impact on the ratio of retirees to workers; the ratio of the number of people ages 65 and over to the number ages 20 to 64 is expected to grow from about 20% in 1997 to 41% in 2050.’  

Canada is at least partly addressing the problem by bringing new blood into the country by making it attractive to migrate to Canada. Australia and New Zealand have long had policies of attracting skilled migrants and international students.

These countries believe that immigration, far from ruing their country, might just save it.

The UK government wants to slash non-EU immigration including skilled migrants and overseas students, a policy which leading personnel body, CIPD, described as ‘flawed’ this week.

Gerwyn Davies, policy adviser at the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (CIPD), questioned the basis for the Con-Lib coalition’s cap on non-EU migration.

He also explained, based upon CIPD’s own research, that a sixth of employers have been prevented from hiring skilled and highly-skilled non-EU workers.

“The government’s efforts should therefore concentrate on matching those coming off welfare with unskilled jobs, many of which are disproportionately taken by EU workers (Eastern European), while giving employers every opportunity to fill skilled and highly-skilled roles,” the expert added.

The UK government also needs to reduce the burden of tax and red tape on business to prevent further exportation of British jobs to more ‘business friendly’ environments.  

Hundreds of thousands of white collar jobs have been ‘exported’ or, as they prefer to put it, ‘outsourced’ to lower cost based countries such as India, The Philippines, Eastern Europe and Ireland by British corporations – including banks bailed out by the taxpayer.

It’s not merely a question of ‘cheap labour’ that kills British jobs. UK businesses have had to face an onslaught of EU led red tape, employment legislation and higher taxes.

Despite European Union ‘business prevention’ measures, the UK has somehow managed to remain an attractive place to start, run or locate a company.

Forming a UK limited company is cheap, simple and fast, with the whole process being done online with no need for lawyers and accountants. Foreign investors do not need a local resident partner and also benefit from a weak Sterling exchange rate UK base interest rates at just .5%.

There are special schemes under Tier 1 of the points based system for business people wishing to migrate to the UK as Entrepreneurs or Investors. See the UK Border Agency website for more details.

Free admissions service provider, UK University Services (UKUS) said that despite the recent clampdown by the UK Border Agency on bogus private colleges and Tier 4 visa rule changes, Britain is still very much ‘open for business’ for students wishing to study at UK Universities and colleges. 

Obtaining a UK student visa from a ‘non-Western’ or third world country to study at a UK University or private college is far more straightforward than many other countries, for instance, Canada or the USA. Visa agents in India, Pakistan, China, Nigeria and The Philippines report extremely high refusal rates for US, Canadian and Australian visas – in some cases 100%.

In the UK, all a student has to do is gain 40 points (and demonstrate a relatively low level of English language capability) under the streamlined and transparent ’Points Based System’, 30 of which comes from a Tier 4 licensed Sponsoring educational provider (which can be checked on the Tier 4 Sponsors Register) and 10 by demonstrating sufficient funds, and a student visa is virtually guaranteed.

British Embassy Visa Sections take a matter of weeks or days to grant a UK student visas (which can be obtain by applying online), rather than months for some countries, and rarely involve an interview. Almost 300,000 student visas were granted in 2010 for UK Universities, Colleges and private Schools and the sector is worth around £40 billion to the British economy.

International students studying at Universities and government colleges will retain the right to work part time up to 20 hours per week and full time during vacations.

In order to come out stronger from the last few years of recession, Britain must continue to be more business friendly, but at the same time protect jobs and allow employers to attract the brightest and best migrants from around the globe when needed.

See article:

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website 

See article:

 

UK Border Agency launch new website

The newly revised UK Border Agency website has a better look and feel and navigation seems faster, but previously published links to specific pages of the site may no longer exist.

For instance, the link for European Workers is now:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/applying/

The link for ‘Bulgarian and Romanian nationals‘ is:

http://www.ukba.homeoffice.gov.uk/eucitizens/bulgaria-romania/work-permits/

The UK Border Agency and Home Office website contains a vast amount of information which can be difficult to wade your way through the guidance and Immigration Rules.

The navigation section for European workers from Bulgaria and Romania also appears to have been simplified although finding specific information is still a challenge.

Confusion remains over the need for Bulgarians and Romanians applying for BR1 Yellow Cards as students to take out Comprehensive Sickness Insurance cover. 

The BR1 Form in Section 9 states:

‘If sections 4 (Students) and 5 (Self-sufficient) have been completed: evidence of ‘Comprehensive Sickness Insurance’ cover in the UK and funds to show you are economically self-sufficient, e.g. a bank statement.’

In other words, the paragraph means you need comprehensive sickness insurance only if you are applying under both ‘student’ and ‘self sufficient’ sections.

Nevertheless, student applicants are being asked to take out private medical insurance policies and are being refused if they fail to supply the correct cover.

What is the correct insurance cover?

One insurance company manager told Immigration Matters that he has been trying to get clarification on the exact requirements from the UK Border Agency for several weeks.

Active Quote offers an easy to use online quotation and application system, but also has telephone support from advisers who are on hand to answer questions.

To obtain a quotation for Comprehensive Sickness Insurance visit the Active Quote website

See also:

One thousand people emigrate from Britain every day

Immigration policy ‘flawed’, says CIPD

EU migration policies are ‘mad’ says Lord Digby Jones

Free service launched to help overseas students study at UK Universities

International students numbers soar as UK remains an attractive place to study

Switzerland joins Euro block on Bulgarian and Romanian Workers

Immigration Rules for Bulgarian and Romanian nationals

HOW TO FIND APPLICATION FORMS FOR A ‘YELLOW’ OR ‘BLUE’ CARD REGISTRATION CERTIFICATE ON THE UK BORDER AGENCY WEBSITE

New Tier 4 Student Visa rules implemented 21 April 2011, but will students applying to private colleges be allowed to work?

If you need any immigration advice or are worried about the new immigration rules or need help with Sponsorship or Work Permits, Visa, ILR/Settlement, Citizenship, dependant visa or an appeal against a refusal please email:  

info@immigrationmatters.co.uk or visit www.immigrationmatters.co.uk

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