Workers sending money abroad

POOR members of Sheffield’s ethnic minority communities are also some of the city’s most generous – giving up to a fifth of their income to relatives and charities in their home countries, according to MP Paul Blomfield.

The Labour politician, who represents Sheffield Central, said the sums made a ‘vital and unseen contribution to international development’.

A survey of constituents found people sent money to relatives in 14 countries – in eastern and southern Europe, Africa, the Middle East and South Asia. Mr Blomfield said: “Overwhelmingly. givers send money to poorer relatives who use the money to cover the most basic living costs such as food, clothing, healthcare and education, but money is also sent to charities such as Water Aid and Plan International.

“Some 89 per cent of Sheffield’s remittances givers are low wage earners, earning less than £1,000 a month and are making great financial sacrifices to send remittances. On average, Sheffield’s remittance givers send 17 per cent of their monthly income, with nearly half sending over 20 per cent of their income.”

But Mr Blomfield added the cost of sending money overseas acted as a ‘barrier’ to some – and also took an average of 8.5 per cent of all money being sent abroad.

The statistics are in a report Hidden Heroes of International Development: Recognising Sheffield’s Generosity to the World, launched at the Sheffield and the Global Society Conference organised by the Sheffield Black and Ethnic Minority Network.