By Enrique Tessieri
In Ireland, where the immigrant population has grown very rapidly in a span of ten years, there are concrete steps to address urban myths about migrants, refugees and Muslims. In Finland it appears to be a totally different story.
Below are some myths that a brochure about migrant workers and their families. Why isn’t there a similar campaign in Finland by the government?
As far as we are concerned, the term Ireland below could be replaced by Finland.
01 Do Migrant Workers take jobs from Irish people?
- There is always the possibility of displacement in a competitive economy but most available research shows that migrant workers replace rather than displace workers in Ireland.
- There are many reasons why it can be hard for unemployed people to find work, e.g. lack of childcare, and disability access, discrimination, racism, deskilling, educational disadvantage.
- Migrant workers expand the economy by allowing businesses to grow and by investing their own skills and money in enterprises.
- Of the 162,200 additional jobs created in the Irish economy from 2004 to 2006, non-Irish national entrepreneurs and companies accounted for 53% of these jobs.
03 Do Migrant Workers bring down wages?
- Wage levels including the minimum wage have consistently risen over the past decade.
- Migrant workers should not be blamed for employers who do not pay minimum wage and who violate employment legislation for their own profit.
04 Are Migrant Workers a burden on public services?
- Migrant workers tend to pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits. It is estimated that around 200,000 migrant workers provide an annual surplus in income taxes of around half a billion Euro.
- Despite unfounded fears of “welfare tourism”, less than 1% of the country’s migrant workers are dependent on social welfare. Social welfare is important for any worker as a safety net in times of illness and unemployment.
At the beginning of the brochure reads: “Migration is the mother of progress and invention. (…) Our world today is shaped by the industry of immigrants.”