Ten Migration Watch Achievements (From the Office Of Migration watch U.K.)

May 7, 2006: Ten Migration Watch Achievements (From the Office Of Migration watch U.K.)

Ten Migration Watch U.K. achievements

Here is a list of ten key points which Migrationwatch has inserted into the debate on immigration and asylum: Many were initially denied by the government but we have subsequently been proved right.

1. Impact on population growth
Migrationwatch were first to point out that the Government had failed to include the children of immigrants when they claimed that immigration accounted for only just over half of expected population growth. After a reference to the Statistics Commission, we obliged the Government to admit that 83% of projected population growth is a result of immigration. In other words immigration will add nearly 6 million, or 6 times the population of Birmingham, to the population of the UK in the next 30 years.

2. Impact on housing
We were also first to point out that, over the next twenty years, one new household in three would be the result of immigration. In other words we would need to build roughly 1.5 million homes, purely for immigrants, in the next two decades. Official figures, issued in February 2006, now confirm this – although the impact of immigration was deliberately obscured.

3. The 2.5bn “contribution” to the budget
We have examined the government calculation and a subsequent revision by the IPPR. We have found that the outcome turns entirely on how you attribute the cost of about million children who belong to “mixed” households – where one parent was born in Britain and the other overseas. The government and IPPR place the whole cost on the native population to get their result. If you take the more logical course of splitting this cost 50/50, the result is that immigrants cost the budget of 100 – 200 million a year.

4. Immigration from Eastern Europe
The Home Office paper in April 2003 claimed that the maximum net migration from the new Eastern European members of the EU would be 5,000 13,000 a year. Migrationwatch pointed out in a report in August 2003 that this calculation was deeply flawed. We said that even 40,000 would be a cautious estimate. 20 months after their accession, 345,000 East Europeans had registered for work in Britain. Self employed and short term workers are not covered by this Register. We do not know how many others have not registered, nor how many have since left but it is clear that the Government estimate was hopelessly wrong.

5. Illegal immigrants
Having denied for years that it was possible to make an estimate, the Government eventually admitted that there could be up to million illegal immigrants in Britain. Migrationwatch pointed out that the estimate was four years out of date and that million would be a more accurate figure. The Government have not denied this.

6. The pensions argument
For years, the Home Office claimed that the immigration was needed to help pay our pensions. We have shown that any such effect is only temporary and has the disadvantage of adding very significantly to our population. The Turner Commission on Pensions agreed. They dismissed this argument in their interim report and did not even bother to mention it in their final report in December 2005. The Home Office have now dropped it.

7. White Flight
Migrationwatch were the first to point to the flow of people from inner-city areas in London, the West Midlands and North of England. We were also able to demonstrate a correlation between the outflow and the ethnicity of the Boroughs which people were leaving.

8. Failed asylum seekers
Migrationwatch first calculated that the number of failed asylum seekers still in Britain was over million. The Government denied it until a National Audit Office report in July 2005 confirmed that the potential pool of failed asylum seekers was between 155,000 and 283,500 as at the end of May 2004. Even these numbers do not include dependants (for whom 20% should be added). It is thus clear that the Migrationwatch estimate was a cautious one. We were also the first to point out that only one in four failed asylum seekers is actually removed.

9. The economic arguments
We have demonstrated that the governments economic case for immigration relies on distorted statistics. Their claim that migrants make up 8% of the working population but contribute 10% of GDP is misleading. In fact they comprise 10% of the working age population but fewer of them are actually working so their contribution to production is the same as their proportion of the working age population. The independent watchdog, the Statistics Commission has confirmed our point. The governments claim that immigrants add 0.4% to trend growth does not take account of their addition to the population. Allowing for this brings the benefit to the host population down to 0.14% of GDP or an annual benefit of about 2 per week for an average family.

10. HIV, TB etc
In a report dated 18 June 2003, Migrationwatch drew attention to the implications of current immigration policy for the spread of HIV / Aids, Hepatitis B and TB. In July 2004 we called for HIV screening of visitors. In December we pointed out that 90% of newly diagnosed heterosexual infection were thought to have been acquired overseas mostly in Africa. The Government took no action on HIV but have now introduced a pilot scheme of screening for TB for applicants from high incidence countries.

7 May 2006