“Why is the policy in the UK so inhumane in comparison to even countries like China which promote looking after elderly parents?”
Samir is a British citizen who lives here with his wife and son, also British. His parents live alone in India. He is appalled that changes to the immigration rules have led to the effective banning of elderly parents living with their children in the UK, even with no recourse to public funds.
Samir and his wife both work and earn a decent salary, paying their fair share of taxes. They own their house and fail to understand why if they are willing to accommodate and look after their elderly parents at their own expense, the government interferes in their family life. His parents are not scroungers, nor will they take someone’s job. They are not entitled to benefits. They simply want to spend the remaining years with their son, daughter-in-law and their grandson.
His son who turned two in July 2013 has been fortunate to spend some time in the company of his grandparents. Samir is keen for this bond to continue and strengthen; to cultivate the strong sense of family values in his son which can only come by what his son will see and experience.
When his son sees other children with their grandparents, he asks Samir, ‘where is my granny?’ Samir has no answer; how do you explain to a child the politics involved in immigration rules designed to drive out British citizens?
Samir is having trouble reconciling the policy in the UK now, with that even in communist states like China, where the government actively promotes family bonding, integration and looking after elderly parents – to the extent of passing a law to mandate this.2 This is a stark contrast with UK practice, where the government not only is happy with, but promotes elderly to spend old age in solitude.
For Samir, if the rules don’t change soon, he will be forced to uproot his whole family – all British citizens – and move to a country where he can fulfil his duty and desire to be there for his parents. He understands this is what the government wants – increasing emigration whilst reducing immigration is the only way they will satisfy their net migration target. However it is not right that British citizens are forced out of their own country. That a British child is denied a British education and upbringing.
The first year of the rules have already seen professionals leaving the UK, moving to countries which allow elderly parents to join them. Samir believes this trend will continue, as more and more British professionals find themselves impacted by rules preventing looking after those who gave us life.
If the concern is a burden on the NHS, a more humane solution is to mandate private healthcare cover. Why did the government not just do that?
(Editor's note: Talking of the NHS, the BMA has been lobbying on behalf of its members - doctors - affected by this issue. So has the Royal College of Nursing. Forcing nurses and doctors to leave the UK won't help the NHS. Links :
Samir questions whether it is right to raise his son in a society which prevents elderly dependent parents from living with their children – what kind of example will this set for his son?