In an age of insanity and irrationality, that which is painfully clear is relegated to the "fringe". Here, Geert Wilders restates the obvious about the deleterious impact and cost of massive immigration on Western society - in this case his own society.
The anti-immigration party of Dutch populist Geert Wilders wants each ministry to make a cost-benefit analysis of the presence of non-Western immigrants and their offspring in the Netherlands.
When Geert Wilders first brought up what he called "the cost of multiculturalism" in the Dutch parliament last year, he got mostly laughs. Wilders claimed non-Western immigration had already cost the Netherlands 100 billion euros and speculated about how that money could have been put to better use. Every elderly person could have had his or her own room in a nursing home, Wilders suggested; we could all have retired at 50, "or we could have given everybody in the Netherlands a free sailboat."
That may be a difficult question to answer. For instance, Fritsma wants the transport ministry to calculate how much of the department’s expenses are due to immigrants. This would mean calculating, among other things, how many drivers struck in traffic jams throughout the Netherlands are immigrants.
The PVV also wants to know how much taxes immigrants pay, how often they go the doctor's and what percentage of police interventions is related to immigrants
Fritsma wants every ministry to come up with figures for the current year, the past five years, and prognoses for the coming year and the next five years. It remains to be seen if the ministries will respond to the PVV's request.
Some research has already been done into the costs and benefits of labour migration. Last year, Wilders quoted from a 2003 study by the economic policy bureau CPB, but that study did not have the 100 million euro figure. It is unclear how Wilders reached that figure.
The CPB study did come to the conclusion that immigrants cost more over a lifetime (in health care, education, pensions and social security) than they contribute in taxes.
The CPB calculated that an immigrant who arrives in the Netherlands at age 25 will cost Dutch taxpayers 43,000 euros over the rest of his lifetime. (The study did not look into second or third generation immigrants.) It concluded that the Dutch economy as a whole does not benefit from large-scale immigration, and that immigrants are not the answer to the ageing of the Dutch population. However, the study did recommend limited immigration of skilled workers for specific jobs that are hard to fill otherwise