United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) leader Nigel Farage has said that children of new immigrants should not be allowed access to state education until five years of living in the country has passed. This would force migrants to pay for private education until their children qualified, The Independent reports.
Farage said in a statement that it was “not unusual” for countries to require that new immigrants pay for services such as education and healthcare, and that Britain should follow in this path.
The idea is primarily focused on reducing the financial burden on the state and in-line with the Australian points-based system that accepts migrants based on their merit and utility to their new home.
“Immigrants must financially support themselves and their dependants for five years. This means private health insurance (except emergency medical care), education and housing – they should pay into the pot before they take out of it”.
When asked how this system would function in Britain, Farage said in a statement:
“Basically, people would bring dependants, not immediately. They would bring them after a period of time. I think the most important thing is that those that come do have healthcare. That’s really, really important, and on the life-threatening disease stuff, that’s perfectly clear … The dependants thing is much more difficult. But I wouldn’t foresee people coming into Britain immediately being allowed to bring children to go through the state system. Except for very high earners, it wouldn’t be very relevant.”
UKIP is aiming to gain traction from both left and right with the way they frame the immigration debate, arguing that it has created a downward pressure on wages and harmed the prospects of the poorest in society. Farage agrees with this, stating that it has been “fantastic” for the wealthy, but that many parts of the country have not seen these same benefits.
“If you employ chauffeurs, and nannies and gardeners, then the eastern European opening of the doors has been great. I never said it was bad for everybody,” he added.
Farage commented on a wide range of political issues, from their election strategy to the possibility of a Tory-UKIP deal following the May election. He also said that their party’s stance on immigration was proving to be one of their strongest, even more so than their campaign for an EU referendum.
He denied that the possible election of Boris Johnson as the Tories’ new leader would be an issue for UKIP, and he also believes that Cameron will win the election – possibly reported as a means to reduce fears amongst UKIP supporters that a Miliband/Labour government would occur.