Green Party Councillor and Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for Thanet South, Ian Driver, says that UKIPs “Little England policies will cause serious damage to Thanet’s economy leading to a massive rise in unemployment, the collapse of local businesses and hardship for many families”.
His comments follow the publication of a report by the South West Research Company which estimates that Thanet’s Language Schools generate a staggering £47.8 million per year. Based upon detailed economic research carried out in 2013 the report claims that:
· Approximately £6.3 million per year is paid to the districts 2,800 host families
· Students of the language schools accounted for approximately 495,000 visitor overnight stays in Thanet
· Language students spend on average £28 per day in local shops, cafes, bars and restaurants
· 1,138 jobs were directly or indirectly created in Thanet as a result of the Language Schools and their students
Many local businesses have said that the Language Schools and their students make up a high percentage of their customer base, and that they would struggle to keep going without them.
Said Driver “this report demonstrates, with extensive well researched facts and figures, what many people already knew to be true; that Thanet’s economy and thousands of jobs are dependent upon the districts Language Schools”.
“The report estimates that 71% of the language school students come from western, central and eastern Europe. If Nigel Farage’s UKIP succeeds in taking us out of the EU it will be much harder and more expensive for these European students to travel to the UK and perhaps they will look at other EU destinations to develop their English skills such as Ireland”.
“Nigel Farage likes to portray himself as a plain speaking person with common sense ideas. The truth is that he is plain stupid because the consequences of UKIPs Little England policies could lead to the closure of Thanet’s Language Schools spelling devastation for the local economy. Unemployment would rocket, many businesses would fold and the already high rates of deprivation and poverty would increase”.
He added “this is probably the first time in political history that a candidate has stood for election advocating polices which will seriously harm and damage the living standards of most of his voters. As every day passes it is becoming clearer that the leadership of UKIP are a rag-tag band of foolish, foreigner-hating misfits bereft of any sensible policy. To vote for this shower could be very dangerous”.
Driver said that a Green led council would make it a priority to work with the Districts Language schools to support and further develop their business enabling an expansion of the industry and more spin off benefits for the people of Thanet.