Welfare Minister’s immigrant statements problematic, researcher says / News / The Foreigner

Welfare Minister’s immigrant statements problematic, researcher says. Robert Eriksson states the number of immigrants on welfare is too high and wants to address the issue. Statistics Norway (SSB) forecasts a rising population and chiefly falling immigrant numbers. Progress’ (FrP) Minister of Labour and Social Affairs declared to reporters that figures for social benefits recipient numbers “are the highest since 2005” – 125,400 – with “far too many immigrants [being] on welfare.” “37 per cent of them [those receiving social benefits] are immigrants,” he continued, calling for action due to what he termed as “a major overrepresentation.”

welfare, foreigners, work, benefits



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Welfare Minister’s immigrant statements problematic, researcher says

Published on Wednesday, 19th August, 2015 at 11:29 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last Updated on 19th August 2015 at 18:07.

Robert Eriksson states the number of immigrants on welfare is too high and wants to address the issue. Statistics Norway (SSB) forecasts a rising population and chiefly falling immigrant numbers.

Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Robert Eriksson
Far too many immigrants are on welfare, according to the Minister.Minister of Labour and Social Affairs Robert Eriksson
Photo: Progress Party/Flickr


Progress’ (FrP) Minister of Labour and Social Affairs declared to reporters that figures for social benefits recipient numbers “are the highest since 2005” – 125,400 – with “far too many immigrants [being] on welfare.”

“37 per cent of them [those receiving social benefits] are immigrants,” he continued, calling for action due to what he termed as “a major overrepresentation.”

“We spend NOK 5.6 billion [a year] (some USD 679.5m/EUR 613.75m/GBP 436.46m at today’s ROE) on social assistance: immigrants receive NOK 2 billion (roughly USD 242.68m/EUR 219.14m/GBP 155.87m) [of this].”

“This [figure] accounts for about 2,300 elderly care home places converted to operating costs,” Minister Eriksson said to VG.

Changes

Predicting that the amount of places and number of immigrants on benefits will increase if nothing is done, he proposes improved qualification procedures. These include better Norwegian language training and more stringent demands.

“We also want to follow up [work-seeking/other] activities, [which are] an obligation in order to receive social assistance. This means that we must be able to set clearer expectations and demands for access to our welfare programmes,” stated the Minister, adding that he recognises the challenges immigrants face when applying for jobs.

SSB social assistance researcher Harald Tønseth tells The Foreigner that Labour and Social Affairs Minister Robert Eriksson’s comments are not unproblematic, as “any comments on the level of social assistance must take into account a slight change in data publication from 2013 onwards.”

“Before 2013, immigrants and Norwegian-born to immigrant parents were published as one group of recipients. From 2013 onwards, these two groups are separated,” he says.

At the same time, data before and after 2013 is comparable, “that taken into account,” states Mr Tønseth.

2012-13 saw record levels of immigration to and emigration from Norway.

Different groups

2014’s social assistance levels for all recipients were up four per cent on the previous year, with payments six per cent higher when controlled for the general price increase, according to Statistics Norway (SSB).

The past three years have seen a continual half a percentage point increase in numbers of people receiving social assistance, with this scheme being a main source of income. The trend follows a downward one between 2006 and 2011.

Levels of payments a linked to the size of municipalities, “reflecting differences in the cost of living,” it is stated.

“Recipients in cities with more than 50 000 inhabitants received payments almost twice the amount of recipients in the smallest municipalities (less than 5 000 inhabitants).”

In addition, there has been a slight tendency towards a somewhat older population of social assistance recipients during the past 10 years.

“The proportion of recipients below 20 years is falling, while there are proportionally more in the age group 20-29 years. Correspondingly, there is a slight shift away from the age group 30-39 years towards the group 40-49 years,” say SSB researchers.

Those below 30 now make up 37 per cent of the recipients, while 18 per cent are 50 and over.

Immigrants of all ages received social assistance in 2013 and 2014, with the respective numbers for these years being some 42,900 and 46,600.

Roughly 1,300 (2013) and 1,400 (2014) recipients were classified as Norwegian-born to immigrant parents, with the unknown immigration category consisting of approximately 920 a year.

The respective figures for the rest of the population for 2013 and 2014 are some 75,640 and 76,470.

Three scenarios

Staff at state number cruncher also forecasts three different alternatives regarding Norway’s population growth between 2014 and 2060, which include variables such as fertility and life expectancy.

The medium one predicts the population will rise from about 5.1 million to 6.86 million by the end of the period, with growth being “particularly high in and around the larger cities. The aging of the population will continue, and every fifth resident in Norway will be at least 70 years of age in 2060.”

Immigration and emigration are projected in a separate model. It considers the underlying drivers of immigration – income differences, unemployment rates, network (the so-termed bridge head effect), and population development in areas where they arrive from.

Total immigration, emigration, and net immigration and emigration rates are expected to fall using the low and medium alternatives, but rise in the high one in line with each other.

Broadly-speaking, this means that higher immigration, where more immigrants in a country lead to more coming, will mean more people leave.

Researchers have divided countries of origin into three world areas. These are:

  • Area 1: Western Europe, North America, Australia, and New Zealand
  • Area 2: Eastern Europe and new EU members
  • Area 3: Rest of the world

More articles on immigration and work:

66 per cent favour increased taxation
‘Fear of foreigners groundless’, researcher says
Somalis alienated from Norwegian job market
Norway’s new immigration and asylum policies
Somalis in Norway’s capital face challenges – new report
Immigrants ‘give up’ on Norway
Conservatives want welfare payment restrictions for foreigners
Foreign workers swell Norwegians’ pockets
Half of Norway’s waiting staff foreign - report
More Norway companies prefer Swedes
Successful Norway business figure censures workers
Norway youths ‘slothful’, says immigrant multi-millionaire
Norwegians claim immigration policy failing

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Published on Wednesday, 19th August, 2015 at 11:29 under the news category, by Michael Sandelson   .
Last updated on 19th August 2015 at 18:07.

This post has the following tags: welfare, foreigners, work, benefits.





  
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