Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants in UK increase
The UK office for national statistics has reported an increase in the number of Bulgarians and Romanians who work in the country. There were around 150 000 Bulgarians and Romanians in UK in June 2013 compared with March. This represents and 30% increase. Bulgaria and Romania both joined the European Union in 2007. Most of the old members of the Union imposed limitations on the ability of the citizens from the new countries to work freely on the local labor markets. Under the EU law however the transitional controls can be held for a maximum of 7 years after the accession date. This means that on 1 January 2014 all Bulgarian and Romanian citizens will be able to work in all EU countries without any limitations. Many UK politicians fear that this could cause a surge in the number of incoming immigrants and may put a pressure on the already strained UK social system.
Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party said, ‘It is a simple fact that if you open your doors to people from countries with significantly lower wages and GDP than the UK, then migratory flows will come.
But Jonathan Portes of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research said ‘The big picture is that most migrants from the new member states of the EU come here to work. They are young and place relatively few demands on public services’.
The average wage levels in Romania and Bulgaria are much lower than those in UK although the cost of living is also lower. Many commentators predict that the removal of the limitations may cause a new wave of Immigration. Officials from Bulgarian and Romania however state that most immigrants will prefer countries such as Italy Spain and Germany where large number of Bulgarians and Romanians already live.
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