Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Lost in Translation

BBC News 24 had a segment last night (there is a related article online) on the cost incurred by the public sector when providing translation services to people who don’t speak English. The grand total (although I should probably say shameful total) was £100m. Uncharacteristically the BBC highlighted the folly of such expenditure; it creates a disincentive for non-English speaks to learn English. The BBC interviewed two immigrants, one resident in the UK for two years, the other for 22 years; neither of them could speak English. Both indicated that the translation services provided by their local councils etc removed any reason for them to learn English.

For me however the parallels between the provision of translation services, and the provision of welfare are too important for us to ignore. If translation services remove the incentive for immigrants to speak English, is it really that surprising that welfare removes the incentive for people to work? After all, if you pay a person more to sit at home and do nothing than they could earn for doing an honest day’s work, is it surprising that so many people choose to rely on welfare rather than on themselves?

Welfare is a trap. A gilded trap perhaps, but a trap nevertheless.

3 comments:

eu_serf said...

Should we really believe that if free translation wasn't available, a market alternative would not become immediately available?

Tory in the Wilderness said...

You can't seriously be suggesting that we should... surely not... trust the market!!!

I'm constantly amazed at the lack of trust the leftist elite have in people; of course given this lack of trust it is hardly surprising they have such little faith in the free market.

Cllr Green said...

Or, heaven forbid, they learn English out of respect for the people around them.