The government has come in for considerable criticism about its decision to abandon the Dub’s amendment on the number of children refugees/migrants. The consequence of this decision has been a large number of protests across the country and not only in centres with a high density of ethnic minorities. Although we have not seen street demonstrations in Wye conversations have revealed some passionate opinions on the matter. One of the arguments that has been raised is that each child/teenager will cost in the region of £5000 per year to provide for the living costs alone. There are, of course, other costs such as the time taken to protect, nurture, integrate and generally care for these children. Wye residents have pointed out the ways that migrants have contributed to our society by taking up the opportunities for education and training. Indeed, these same residents have long collected shoes and clothing for the refugee camp in Calais. Surely they could go that extra mile and open up their homes, pay for an extra mouth and expend that milk of human kindness?
Perhaps one sort of solution is that those who feel so strongly about homing the children might set up a fund among themselves to ensure that monies are available beyond the Treasury. Indeed, it appears that a number of charities are already prepared to find homes and foster parents for these children. Such an act of personal sacrifice and generosity would be in keeping with the long-standing attitude of individuals in this country. When the government has to continually make decisions on its expenditures – on behalf of the whole nation – surely the freedom to act in resonance with one’s own values is the greatest testimony to that freedom?