11 July 2017
The UK is not full. On world population day you may hear the myths of how we must stop the increase in immigration. However the rhetoric from the right is nothing more than scapegoating migrants for the systematic failings of previous governments.
From large school classes to a lack of hospital beds, the blame has been placed on migrants. Many of the loudest voices in the migration debate coincidentally forget that our public services would not be able to function without the contribution of migrants. A lack of housing is also an issue which has been blamed on immigration however in England alone there were 200,000 houses which were empty for more than 6 months in 2016.
Young people have disproportionately felt the failings of previous governments. As young people we struggle to get onto the property ladder and many of us will not be able to own our own home like the generations before us have. However these issues are not due to an overpopulated UK. These are issues that the current government are neglecting through their lack of action.
This population day I am asking you to ignore the rhetoric about the UK being too full and instead recognise the systematic underfunding of our public services from the Conservative government. As the son of a migrant I recongise how migrants are seen as statistics and not actual people who make big contributions to our society outside of just an economic stand point.
We must humanize the debate around migration and prove they are People Not Numbers.
Arran Rangi - Young Greens Treasurer