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20180504

The prejudices, politics and pride of the multi-billion pound world of migrant money.

Every year as much as £16bn is sent around the world by migrant workers in the UK, more than our overseas aid budget. But with around 10% wiped off Sterling's value following the Brexit vote these remittances are under pressure. Still, as this programme finds out, it's not only driven by economics.

In this programme Nihal Arthanayake hears the powerful stories of the people here who send much of their salaries home, interlaced with the poetry of Radio 4's market updates.

Growing up in the UK to Sri Lankan parents, presenter Nihal Arthanayake was well-versed in the many layers of remittance-sending: "my parents sent regular consignments of M&S bras" he recalls, "it was a kind of alternative currency."

As he discovers, 'Remittance' has multiple meanings. It reveals a pride in success, and an honour in being able to provide for poorer relatives back home. Above all, it's deeply often emotional, about being apart from loved ones.

From a chef in Manchester to a restaurant worker in Windsor, Nihal meets workers from the Philippines, Romania and Kenya to hear the distinct stories behind their Remittance.

While long hours and family separation are making life difficult for all, money is having different impacts: strengthening the bonds of some families but creating tension within others.

It's a story Nihal regularly hears. He also explores the issue that the billions of pounds sent home annually is money not being spent in the UK.

Nihal explores the prejudices, politics and pride that accompany this multi-billion pound world.

Producer: Harry Kretchmer.

20180504

The prejudices, politics and pride of the multi-billion pound world of migrant money.

Every year more than £20bn is sent around the world by migrant workers in the UK, double our overseas aid budget. But with around 10% wiped off Sterling's value following the Brexit vote these remittances are under pressure. Some are now confronting a tough choice: stay or go. But as this programme finds out, it's not only driven by economics.

In this programme Nihal Arthanayake meets the families who are living with this dilemma, the people here who send much of their salaries home, interlaced with the poetry of Radio 4's market updates.

Growing up in the UK to Sri Lankan parents, presenter Nihal Arthanayake was well-versed in the many layers of remittance-sending: "my parents sent regular consignments of M&S bras" he recalls, "it was a kind of alternative currency."

As he discovers, 'The Remittance' has multiple meanings. It reveals a pride in success, and an honour in being able to provide for poorer relatives back home. Above all, it's deeply emotional, about being apart from loved ones.

From a chef in Manchester to a waitress in Windsor, Nihal meets workers from the Philippines, Romania and Kenya to hear the distinct stories behind their Remittance. While one feels compelled to return home, another decides to stay, even as life becomes increasingly difficult.

It's a story Nihal regularly hears. But he is also aware that there is a counter argument - that the billions of pounds sent home annually is money not been spent here in the UK.

Nihal explores the prejudices, politics and pride that accompany this multi-billion pound world.

Producer: Harry Kretchmer.

2018050420181018 (R4)

The prejudices, politics and pride of the multi-billion pound world of migrant money

2018050420181018 (R4)

The prejudices, politics and pride of the multi-billion pound world of migrant money