Prior to the new enlargement of the EU the BBC published an article on costs. As with many things published by the BBC on anything to do with the EU, I thought it worth checking, and found the amounts were thought to be nearer one billion Euros than the eight hundred million mentioned in the above BBC link.
And, if we bear in mind that these were politician’s estimates, I would hazard a guess that the true cost may well be in excess of one billion pounds Sterling.
However, I am also interested in translation costs in our own “English speaking” country and they are enormous. Many government leaflets for the public are printed in umpteen different languages to cater for all the immigrants flocking in and I can’t help but feel they should bear some, if not all, of the enormous costs that are involved.
Why don’t we reduce all benefits and grants by a small percentage (5% to 10%) so they can pay for their translated documents? I offer this suggestion neither as a punishment, nor as an incentive for them to learn English. I offer it as a way that each and everyone should make a contribution towards the costs of the society they wish to live in.
There should be one leaflet offered free of all cost and this would be the one explaining this rule, and why the percentage has been levied. The leaflet should also explain that if they bring an English speaking friend or relative to any assessment meetings who would also translate all the forms for them, there would be no percentage levy made. Because of the way people (including English speaking people) know how to work any system the leaflet should explain that if they need a translated leaflet just once, the percentage levy would immediately start to apply.
Many of these immigrants either have a friend, colleagues or family member who are on the Internet so the Government could provide a website set of pages on the benefits website for each language. Naturally this should be free of any levy and would allow the immigrant to get fault-free facts which their friend may not have interpreted correctly.
Any comments on this, whether you think it is a good or bad idea, would be appreciated.