The call followed an exchange between Mr Ferrari and charity ActionAid’s boss, Mike Noyes, on the 20,000 Syrians the government has agreed to resettle.
After Mr Noyes expressed his approval of the scheme, which is projected to cost £1.7 billion in the first four years alone, and spoke highly of the £10 million set aside to teach the newcomers English, Janet said she felt compelled to tell her story.
Telling the LBC host she teaches the sorts of people Mr Noyes referred to, Janet described the situation with English language lessons as a “mess”.
She explained: “We have so many students and they don’t turn up. They don’t want these lessons and they’re not really interested in learning English.”
Mr Ferrari questioned her, asking: “When you say they don’t turn up, do you mean these special classes [that are paid for by the government]?”
Janet replied: “Special classes that they don’t have to pay for, and obviously we pay for it”.
“It’s so so frustrating. I love teaching them, they’re lovely people when they do turn up but a lot of them don’t turn up. They’re simply not interested in learning English.
“A lot of them have been here for many many years now, and when I was teaching English for employment some of them refused to go because they said ‘Well I don’t want to work. I don’t want to work so I don’t want to learn English for employment’.
Stunned, Mr Ferrari said: “So the natural extension of that is they were happy to live… I’m assuming they’re happy to live off the welfare state.”
Janet confirmed, stating: “That is what they’re doing”.
Asked how it makes her feel, she told the LBC presenter: “Well I’m quite honest with them, and I tell them how I feel. Like I say look, this is crazy, but… the next day after we left Europe a lot of them… a lot of them, their main concerns were will we still get housing benefit, will we get our College courses paid for and yes it’s extremely frustrating. Extremely frustrating”, Janet added.
Mr Ferrari asked what the students say when challenged. Sounding forlorn, Janet paused before telling him: “They really don’t care. I know it sounds horrible and I do like a lot of these students, don’t get me wrong, but… it makes me so angry”.
Before Janet’s call, Mr Noakes assured the LBC presenter that refugees in Britain “fund themselves”, claiming every study shows refugees pay back taxpayers’ “upfront investment” in taxes from working.
Earlier this year, a former advisor to European Commission president Manuel Barroso promised that the more than a million migrants who arrived in Europe last year “could repay spending on them almost twice over within just five years”.
“Refugees will create more jobs, increase demand for services and products, and fill gaps in European workforces – while their wages will help fund dwindling pensions pots and public finances”, Phillip Legrain contended.
While it’s uncontroversial that non-European migrants will increase demand for services and products, there is no real-world evidence to back up Mr Legrain’s other assertions.
A government study found that 65 per cent of refugees who entered the Netherlands in the 1990s are unemployed today, and paper notes the majority of the 35 per cent who have jobs are “ex-Yugoslavs”.
Across the continent, the unemployment rate for non-European migrants is twice that of the native population, while Migration Watch calculated that their cost to British taxpayers was £16 billion in the year to 2015.