Friday, 7 January 2011

A minority in our own country

Although County Durham has relatively few immigrants compared to other counties in Britain, Durham County Council still managed to spend over £56,000 on translation services in 2009 (the 2010 figure is not yet available).

Some of that went on the above Employment and Support Allowance form, which tells immigrants in Arabic, Bengali, Chinese, Greek, Gujurati, Hindi, Polish, Punjabi, Somali, Turkish, Urdu, Vietnamese (and English) how to claim free money from indigenous taxpayers.

Like the Council's so-called Equalities and Diversity department, which is set to cost County Durham citizens more than £215,000 this year, I imagine the translation services will be another area that sees no cuts to its financing; unfortunately the same cannot be said for health, transport, and pretty much everything that is actually important.

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