Monday, June 14, 2010

Wilders and the cost of immigrants

A program to keep Holland Dutch

Dutch populist Geert Wilders is well known for his pro-Dutch stance and opposition against the Islamisation of The Netherlands. In order to stop creeping Islamisation Wilders wants to end all immigration from Muslim countries, send back criminal foreigners to their countries of origin and reduce all other immigration to maximum 1,000 per year.

Stopping all non-western immigration

But Wilders does not only oppose Muslim immigration. He critisises all non-western immigration. I blogged in July 2009 that PVV parlementarian Mr. Sietse Fritsma requested Minister van der Laan of Integration to calculate the cost of immigration. After much hemming and hawing van der Laan refused to make such calculations, arguing that the government cannot put a price tag on groups of people. Geert Wilders argued that the government constantly puts all kinds of price tags on people, but alleged that the government does not want to make it known how costly immigration is. Ethnic Dutch women have only 1.6 children each. Supporters of high levels of immigration in the government have always maintained that immigrants will pay for the pensions and health insurance of the aging Dutch population.

Finding out whats going on

When the government refused to break down the expenses of the government between ethnic Dutch, western immigrants and non-western immigrants Geert Wilders' Freedom Party (PVV) tasked an economic research institute with the task at their expense. This institute, NYFER, diligently did its research, wrote a report and published it in May, a month ago. "Budgetary effects of immigration of Non-Westerners" it is called. The report limits itself to the costs of Non-Westerner immigrants to the state and ignores the costs to society at large.

A bucketful of Euros

To compress the findings of the report to the utmost: the cost of immigration of 25,000 non-westerners annually was calculated at 7.2 billion Euro. The report estimates that 25,000 immigrants who stay here per year is roughly the yearly count in the past ten years.

Raising the pension age

An important issue for the rightwing parties in the elections was raising the pension age from 65 to 67 in order to keep the welfare system affordable. The PVV made keeping the pension age at 65 an important part of their election platform. During the campaign Geert Wilders was able to argue that raising the pension age to 67 would only make an economy of 7 billion Euros until 2030. So just stopping non-western immigration for one year would be able to finance his promise to keep the pension age at 65. And this promise helped to convince enough voters of those who used to vote for the populist leftist Socialist Party (SP) to take three seats from the Left and bring them over to the right.

In conclusion: the PVV does not only discuss the agressive and supremacist ideology of Islam, but debates other excesses of the Multicultural society as well. Geert Wilders does not only use Islam critical arguments, but also economic arguments.

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