UKIP leader's immigration comments hit headlines

08 Jan 2014 | Posted by Carl Thomas

UKIP leader Nigel Farage is not known for being subtle when it comes to making his opinion known on the matter of UK immigration. Amid the discussion regarding Romanian and Bulgarian access to the British jobs' market, Farage has now come out with more headline-grabbing statements on the matter.

One of his suggestions is to block all immigrants from receiving any benefits from the UK until they have been resident in the country for five years. Further, he has suggested removing eligibility for tax credits for immigrants.

Farage has always struggled to build an argument against immigration when the economic factor is taken into account. Much of Britain's economic growth in recent years has been built on the back of the efforts of migrant workers and skilled entrepreneurs coming the country on UK work permits.

But Farage has a new approach for this, stating that there is more to the matter than money. He told BBC News: "I'd rather we weren't slightly richer and I'd rather we had communities that felt more united and I'd rather have a situation where young, unemployed British people had a realistic chance of getting a job. So, yes, I do think the social side of this matters more than pure market economics."

Given Farage's background as a former City trader and approval of the free market, the statement is being taken with a pinch of salt by many.