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Ooh la la! Nigel Farage takes a swipe at the French work ethic and says it’s ‘unimaginable’ that Britain’s productivity levels have now sunk below those of France – as Reform UK president hits out at UK’s ‘addiction’ to mass immigration

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Nigel Farage today swiped at the French work ethic and said it was ‘unimaginable’ the UK’s productivity levels had sunk below those of its cross-Channel neighbour. 

The ex-UKIP leader, who is now honorary president of Reform UK, appeared at a London press conference as he helped launch his party’s new immigration policy.

He and Reform leader Richard Tice unveiled plans to charge British businesses more tax if they employ foreign workers.

The ’employer immigration tax’ would see UK firms charged a higher rate of national insurance for hiring non-British workers. 

Mr Farage hailed the ‘bold, innovative’ policy and claimed Britain had become ‘addicted to cheap foreign labour’.

He also urged voters to turn the general election on 4 July into the ‘immigration election’, and disputed a belief that ‘mass immigration is good for the economy’.

Nigel Farage swiped at the French work ethic and said it was 'unimaginable' the UK's productivity levels had sunk below those of its cross-Channel neighbour

Nigel Farage swiped at the French work ethic and said it was ‘unimaginable’ the UK’s productivity levels had sunk below those of its cross-Channel neighbour

Mr Farage and Reform leader Richard Tice unveiled plans to charge British businesses more tax if they employ foreign workers

Mr Farage and Reform leader Richard Tice unveiled plans to charge British businesses more tax if they employ foreign workers

According to research published by the House of Commons Library, based on OECD data, the UK came fourth highest out of G7 countries in 2022 when ranked on GDP per hour worked

According to research published by the House of Commons Library, based on OECD data, the UK came fourth highest out of G7 countries in 2022 when ranked on GDP per hour worked

‘We’re told more broadly people are concerned about the economy and, of course, GDP,’ Mr Farage said. ‘We bow down to the god of GDP.

‘GDP is going up, therefore mass immigration is good for the economy? No. If you have more people in the country, it would be surprising if GDP didn’t go up.

‘What really matters is GDP per capita and that is falling.

‘What that actually means is the average family, in relative firms, is getting poorer and mass immigration is one of the direct reasons and direct causes of that problem.

‘But it’s good for business we’re told. But, if that’s the case, why have our productivity levels sunk to a level that is almost unimaginable.

‘I say that because our productivity is now below that of France. And given what I know of the French work ethic, I find that very, very difficult to believe.’

According to research published by the House of Commons Library, based on data from the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD), the UK came fourth highest out of G7 countries in 2022 when ranked on GDP per hour worked.

The measure of labour productivity showed the UK behind the US, Germany and France, but ahead of Italy, Canada and Japan.

The House of Commons Library research stated: ‘Historically, UK labour productivity has grown by around 2 per cent per year but since the 2008/2009 recession it has risen more slowly.

‘The effects of the pandemic presented significant challenges in the measurement of productivity, but it appears the pre-pandemic trend of sluggish productivity growth has continued.’



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