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A question for our Polish readers


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My wife and I have just returned from a short break in the city of Krakow in Poland, and what a beautiful place it is. Plenty to see and do, and I would recommend it to anyone. Apart from the lack of fatties and naff mobile phones, it was very western in parts.


I saw a spotlessly clean city, very little litter with modern shopping centres, factories and offices. We wondered whether this was typical of Poland as a whole, and were told that it was indeed, by several people who live there. I made a point of noticing the areas away from the touristy centre. What looked to be social or affordable houses tended to be in the form of blocks, but were clean and well maintained apart from a little graffiti, far nicer than our inner-town areas. Further afield, in the suberbs and countryside I saw large detached houses and picturesque villages that would put anywhere in England to shame. Prices apart from clothing were far lower than this country.


On our flight back were many Polish families with young children, who I assume have up sticks and moved to this country.


We were left wondering, what on earth attracts them to this country. Obviously, the wages here must be higher, but surely this is offset by our higher cost of living, especially housing. I'm not sure that the way this country is heading would make it a better place to bring a family, especially in some of the areas that newcomers tend to settle. Perhaps it's a case of make the money here then spend it back in Poland where it buys more.

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Oh there'll be a couple of small things - like housing benefit, tax credits, child benefit (including for kids who stay in Poland and may or may not even exist!), free NHS care, free education, free prescriptions for kids and low earners, virtual immunity from prosectution for most minor offences if you just pretend to speak no English, the list goes on and the Poles, Latvians, Lithuanians, Hungarians, Romanians and all the rest are well aware of how to maximise their take from the common pot.


You may not be sure that the way this country is heading would make it a better place to bring a family but ask yourself why it's heading that way in the first place. Could it be anything to do with a small island nation having spent the past decade dealing with the pressure on the economy, infrastructure, resources, society as a whole and on taxpayer funded services of an extra million migrants every couple years turning up with their hands out?

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