Thursday, 7 June 2007

Let’s make the most of remittances

Labour deputy leadership frontrunner, Jon Cruddas MP, argues that we need to do more to help remitters make the most of the money they send to relatives in the least developed countries in the world.

I was a signatory to an Early Day Motion tabled in the House of Commons last November which supported a courageous campaign being waged by City office cleaners. The cleaners, who earn as little as £5.35p per hour, were demanding better pay and conditions. They are just some of the countless, low paid workers who keep our economy on its feet, increasing numbers of whom are migrants from developing countries.

Contrary to the “benefit scroungers” image painted by the tabloid press, many migrants struggle to make ends meet. They often work long hours, are poorly paid and hold down several jobs at a time. Despite these hardships, migrant workers here from developing countries manage to send money – referred to as “remittances” – to their families in their countries of origin, which it is estimated totaled more than £2.3 billion last year. The main recipients of these remittances are India, Pakistan, the Caribbean, China, Bangladesh, Nigeria and Ghana. [Read more]

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