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The Top Ten Ukip Arguments (And Why They Are False)

23/01/2014 13:53 | Updated 25 March 2014

1. Immigrants are increasing NHS waiting times. "Britain is full".

Immigrants make a net contribution to the UK. A recent study by University College London found that since 2000, European immigrants have paid 34% more in taxes than they claim back from the state; non-European immigrants paid 2% more. Over the same period, British people paid 11% less in tax than they claimed back. The study also found that immigrants are 45% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than people native to the UK, and 3% less likely to live in social housing. Only 0.15% of the NHS budget is lost to 'health tourism'.

Public satisfaction with the NHS was at an all time high in 2011, but increasing austerity measures and the handing over of NHS contracts to private providers has lead to increased waiting times, as public health providers are having to cut back on services. Ukip's manifesto pledges even more budget cuts. They plan to cut two million more public sector jobs (more than the entire NHS workforce) and to get rid of National Insurance, which raises over £100billion a year (more than the entire NHS budget). This is not even taking into account the massive loss to public spending that would result from their wish to introduce a flat 31% tax for people of all incomes over £11,500.

Immigrants are not a strain on the public sector, austerity is. Moreover, if Ukip truly believe that "Britain is full", should the party be urging its members to stop procreating? Same-sex relationships would surely be far more patriotic?

2. Immigrants are to blame for undercutting British workers

Immigrants, believe it or not, are human beings. Not unlike British human beings they love their families and will do whatever it takes to provide a better future for their children. Unfortunately, some employers exploit immigrant labour by illegally paying workers below the minimum wage, as recent immigrants will be more desperate to work, as they do not have the same access to benefits as UK citizens. If there was a strong commitment to the living wage, and serious criminal penalties for employers exploiting workers in this way, there would be no undercutting; and employers would judge job applicants on their merit, rather than their level of desperation and willingness to work for less.

It's also worth remembering that British workers are also leaving the UK to work in the EU, it's not a one-way system. There are currently 1.6 million UK citizens living in other EU countries.

3. The entire population of Romania and Bulgaria could be heading to the UK

Romanians and Bulgarians are also human beings. Just like British humans most have families that they care about; friends they enjoy spending time with; a job in their local communities; a first language they enjoy speaking; a culture they are familiar with; and (unlike British humans) 35°C summers. The majority don't want to leave their country of birth, and for those that do, it is not a decision to be taken lightly. Several factors must be taken into account, including the risk of moving to a foreign country and not being able to get work.

If Ukip believe that people will drop all of their domestic commitments at the first chance of moving to a more affluent country, why are working class Ukip voters not flocking to Germany - where wages and benefits are higher, and unemployment and youth unemployment is much lower?

4. Britain loses money wasting benefits on scroungers cheating the system

With an average of 85 applicants chasing each job vacancy, Jobseekers Allowance is a necessity for people out of work who need to provide for themselves and their family. Whilst it is regularly assumed that the UK's benefits spending overwhelmingly goes to people on the dole, almost half (47%) is actually spent on state pensions, with JSA making up only 3% of the entire benefits bill. Of all the money spent on benefits in the UK, only 0.7% (£1.2billion) is lost to fraud. Yet that amount is eclipsed by the £1.3billion that is unclaimed or underpaid. Therefore, if benefits were only paid to the people who deserve them, the UK would be spending £100million more, annually.

Of course, if it weren't for free movement within the EU, Britain would see a sharp increase in the amount of people living on unemployment benefit. There are currently more unemployed UK citizens in Spain, than all the EU immigrants claiming benefits in the UK combined.

5. EU membership is a burden on the UK.

Less than 0.5% of UK government spending goes on our EU membership. As a result of membership the UK receives 52% of all its trade from the EU, worth more than £400billion a year, which is free from customs duties or tariffs. As EU citizens we have the freedom to travel, live, work, study, and retire anywhere in the union; we have also enjoyed the longest period of peace in Europe for two millennia; have set targets for sustainability thanks to EU green targets; and are protected by the European Arrest Warrant, which prevents European criminals evading arrest by entering the UK - and ensures that British criminals fleeing into Europe face justice. The EU is also currently working on closing tax loopholes to increase competition and recoup the billions of pounds lost through tax fraud and avoidance.

6. EU laws are forced on the British people.

The British people voted to join the EU in a 1975 referendum. The European Union is a democratic confederation of nations, in which individuals elect MEPs to represent them in The European Parliament. Britain is the third best-represented nation, with 73 MEPs.

To say that European law is 'forced' on the British people is like saying that government policies are 'forced' on the people of Manchester who voted for Labour in 2010. We live in a representative democracy, and whilst that guarantees that everyone gets a vote; it does not mean that everyone is going to be happy with the result. If you don't like a law that the EU has passed, perhaps it would be worth paying more attention to the European elections and voting for the MEPs and Europarties that will fight to represent your interests.

Incidentally, Ukip MEPs Nigel Farage, Godfrey Bloom and Paul Nuttall are among the bottom five lowest attendees at the European Parliament; despite being paid £60,000 a year, and claiming millions of pounds in expenses. A vote for a Ukip MEP is clearly not a vote for British representation in Europe.

7. International aid is unnecessary and needs to be cut completely

0.7% of the UK's gross national income is spent on the promotion of the economic development and welfare of developing countries, a target introduced by a 1970 UN resolution. In a world where over 1 billion people live on less than £1 a day, and the 85 richest people are as wealthy as the poorest 3.5 billion, international aid is far from unnecessary.

Remember: foreigners are humans too. Just because someone happened to be born on a different part of land from you doesn't mean their child's future doesn't matter. It doesn't mean that they don't love their families and want them to live in a situation that's fractionally better than the one they inherited. Moreover, if you don't want poor people flocking to the UK, perhaps spending a tiny percentage of the tax pot on improving conditions in less developed countries would help people have better prospects in their country of birth, so they wouldn't need to leave. Foreign aid also builds good international relations and therefore increases trade with the UK.

0% of UK foreign aid goes to "Bongo Bongo Land".

8. Climate change is a myth

Last year, there were 2258 peer-reviewed scientific journals written by 9136 authors that found that climate was changing and that humans were the main driver. Only one peer-reviewed author last year rejected this conclusion. 99.99% of published climate scientists agreed that humans are responsible for climate change.

If you're still having trouble understanding how human-driven climate change works, click here to see a piece by CBBC Newsround that will help explain it to you. Although Ukip want to ban the teaching of climate change in schools, the reality is that we live in a world with a changing climate, finite fossil fuels, and an ever-expanding population. If we don't act soon on climate change, and work towards a sustainable future, we are condemning future generations to lives of homelessness, toil, hunger and misery.

0% of climate scientists found a causal link between homosexual sex acts and flooding.

9. Ukip is a libertarian party

Libertarianism is the political perspective that individual freedom is the main driver for well-being, prosperity, and social harmony. However, Ukip seems to be at odds with this central premise. Geoffrey Clarke, a Ukip candidate, said that the NHS should introduce compulsory abortion for foetuses detected to have a disability. Ukip candidate Alexandra Swann argued that the unemployed shouldn't be allowed to vote. Ukip wanted to make it illegal for women to go outside if they chose to wear a burqa, and were opposed to allowing same-sex couples to get married. The party manifesto also pledges to double prison places, restrict the free movement of people within the EU and repeal the Human Rights Act - the very document that ensures unalienable liberty for all.

10. Political correctness is stifling free speech

There are certainly no laws restricting speech solely on the grounds of being 'non-PC'. Despite all the stories you've heard about brainstorms and rainbow sheep, political correctness is just a socially constructed guide to etiquette that helps point out when you might be accidentally offending or excluding someone for no good reason. Your inability to tell misogynist jokes down the pub without someone asking you to leave is not political correctness stifling your free speech. You are free to say what you want, but you must also be aware that others are free to challenge you if they feel you are saying something ignorant or incorrect. Please bear this in mind if you're thinking of commenting on this article.