Labour's betrayal of British workers: Nearly every one of 1.67m jobs created since 1997 has gone to a foreigner
By James Chapman
The Daily Mail (U.K.), April 8, 2010
Immigration was at the centre of the election campaign today as it emerged that virtually every extra job created under Labour has gone to a foreign worker.
Figures suggested an extraordinary 98.5 per cent of 1.67million new posts were taken by immigrants.
The Tories seized on the revelation as evidence that the Government has totally failed to deliver its pledge of 'British jobs for British workers'.
As Gordon Brown tried to fight on the economy and cleaning up politics, he was confronted in the Commons about how British people of working age have lost out.
Shadow immigration minister Damian Green revealed unpublished figures showing there are almost 730,000 fewer British-born workers in the private sector than in 1997.
Mr Green said the Tories would reduce net migration to tens of thousands a year from the peaks of 200,000 under Labour by enforcing an annual cap.
Mr Brown rejected the idea of an immigration quota, which he said would do 'great damage to British business'.
But Mr Green said the official figures were 'the final proof that Gordon Brown was misleading the public when he promised British jobs for British workers'.
He added: 'Instead he has presided over boom and bust and left British workers in a worse position than when he took office 13 years ago.
'British workers have been betrayed. A Conservative government would introduce a genuine limit which would help us properly control immigration.
'We would reduce net immigration to the levels of the 1980s and 90s – tens of thousands a year, not the hundreds of thousands we have seen under Labour.'
The ONS figures show the total number of people in work in both the private and the public sector has risen from around 25.7million in 1997 to 27.4million at the end of last year, an increase of 1.67million.
But the number of workers born abroad has increased dramatically by 1.64million, from 1.9million to 3.5million.
There were 23.8million British-born workers in employment at the end of last year, just 25,000 more than when Labour came to power. In the private sector, the number of British workers has actually fallen.
The number of posts for people of working age has increased since 1997 by over 500,000, to 20.5million.
But the number of British-born workers in the private sector has slumped by 726,000, from 18.4million to 17.7million.
The figures exclude people working beyond pension age, which critics say the Government includes as 'new jobs' in its assessments.
Last year, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development said that, over ten years, only Luxembourg had seen more of its new jobs taken by migrants.
The latest totals do not include the hundreds of thousands of migrants employed in the 'black economy'.
Sir Andrew Green, of the Migrationwatch pressure group, said: 'The government's economic case for mass immigration is finally blown out of the water.'
A Labour Party spokesman said: 'Net inward migration has fallen and Labour has set out how we will use the points-based system to ensure that, as growth returns, our priority is to see rising levels of skills, wages and employment, not rising immigration.
'But we reject a Tory quota which is arbitrary and misleading – not covering most of those who apply to come to Britain – and bad for business and growth.
'Under the points-based system the door is currently closed to unskilled workers from outside the EU, and the rules are being tightened on students working part-time. Skilled jobs must be advertised in Jobcentre Plus before being opened to migrant workers.
'Unemployment is around half a million lower than people anticipated last year, as thousands of British workers benefit from the help and support we offer.
'With more than 480,000 vacancies right now we are making sure no one gets left behind.'
Immigration: What NONE of the parties will tell you
Politicians of all parties have lamentably failed to tell the truth about how immigration has changed this country beyond recognition during Labour's 13 years in power. Here JAMES SLACK explains what is really happening…
Net inward migration to the UK, the difference between the number of people arriving and leaving, is up threefold since Labour came to power.
In 1997, it stood at 48,000. By 2004, fuelled by a surge in new arrivals from Eastern Europe, it reached an all-time record 244,000, and in 2007 it was 237,000.
The following year it did begin to fall, as Britain headed into a deep recession, but the total still stood at 163,000.
Mr Brown suggested the as-yet-unpublished figure for 2009 would be 147,000. But this was incomplete data which excluded asylum seekers, visitors who decide to stay long-term and arrivals from Ireland and earned the Premier earned a swift rebuke from Sir Michael Scholar, chairman of the UK Statistics Authority.
The Tories have pledged to reduce the level of net migration to 'tens of thousands' – but have yet to specify a number.
The Office for National Statistics projects that – based on current levels of migration – the UK's population of 61million, will grow to 70million by 2029.
The figure has become a battleground between the Government and those pushing for stricter immigration controls.
Home Secretary Alan Johnson initially said he did not 'lie awake' worrying about such rapid growth.
He is now insisting the ONS figure is only a projection and that the statisticians have been wrong in the past.
The number of immigrants living in Britain has almost doubled in less than three decades. The total foreign-born population now stands at 6.7million.
Mr Brown's now notorious 'British jobs for British workers' pledge is fatally undermined by employment figures from the ONS.
These show that, in the private sector, there were 288,000 fewer UK-born people working in the third quarter of last year than there were in 1997.
Mr Brown likes to include people working beyond pension age as 'new jobs' – but if you strip them out, there are 637,000 fewer.
Overall, immigration has accounted for more than 1.64million of the 1.67million jobs created since 1997.
THE BLACK ECONOMY
For much of the last decade, Britain has been a magnet for illegal immigration and it has never been possible to put a definitive figure on the numbers entering this way.
Migrants mass at the Sangatte refugee camp near Calais, then smuggle themselves into the UK, often hidden in lorries.
The stowaways vanish into a black economy estimated to be worth billions of pounds.
Commonly, illegal immigrants work in kitchens, agricultural and construction jobs. Immigration staff, struggling to cope with a backlog of asylum claims, do not have the resources to track them down.
During the 2005 election campaign, Tony Blair repeatedly refused to estimate how many illegals were living here. A month after being re-elected, his Government produced an estimate of 570,000.
The campaign group Migrationwatch says the true total could be as high as 870,000.
Some Labour ministers have flirted with calling an 'amnesty' but it has been rejected as electorally unpopular.
Officials estimated that, following EU enlargement in May 2004, between 5,000 and 13,000 Eastern Europeans would move to Britain.
But by the end of 2009 the number who had signed the Home office's Worker Registration scheme alone was 1,041,315.
This does not include the self-employed or those who did not bother to sign. The unexpected influx – mainly from Poland – placed significant strain on schools, the health service and local councils, who have still not been properly funded for the new arrivals.
Handing out passports to foreign nationals is how the Labour Government changed the make-up of society for ever. In 1997 just 37,010 people were given citizenship.
Last year the Home Office approved an all-time record 203,865 applications, an increase of 58 per cent in a year.
In total, Labour has now created 1.5million new British citizens – all with full voting rights.
Ministers have repeatedly promised to toughen citizenship rules, most recently by insisting migrants must earn a passport by doing voluntary work.
Labour has never recovered from the mayhem which occurred at the start of this century, when a record number of asylum seekers poured into the UK.
Even on conservative estimates, it has left around 285,000 failed claimants living in Britain – but the number being removed is falling.
In 2009, there were 10,815 removals or voluntary departures, down 16 per cent on 2008.
Of those who went, 2,985 benefited from the Assisted Voluntary Return scheme – worth 3,000 each.
The Government's target of concluding 90 per cent of asylum cases within six months by December 2011 has been dismissed as 'unachievable' by Independent Chief Inspector of the UK Border Agency, John Vine.
Only a third of failed asylum seekers – 7,850 out of the 26,832 served with deportation notices – were actually removed in 2008. Inspectors have recently identified a new backlog of 40,000 cases massing in the asylum system.
In 1998, the number of visas handed out to overseas students was 69,607. In 2008/9, this figure had risen to 236,470.
The Government's own figures suggest more than one in ten of the foreign students studying in this country last year was sponsored by a bogus college.
At least 1.5million student visas have been handed out in the past eight years alone.
The beneficiaries included Christmas Day transatlantic flight bomb suspect Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab – given permission by the Home Office to study mechanical engineering at University College London between 2005 and 2008.
A string of other terror suspects have used the student visa route into the UK.
Britain's jails have been turned into what the Tories have called a 'United Nations of crime' containing inmates from 160 different countries.
The 11,546 foreign nationals represent one in every seven inmates in our prisons. They range from murderers and rapists to burglars, paedophiles, drug dealers and thieves.
There are only 192 member countries of the United Nations, so all bar 32 are represented in the British prison system.
The vast number of overseas inmates is a major factor behind the overcrowding which has led to the early release of UK criminals.
THE SECRET PLAN
Arguably, the most damaging charge of them all. New Labour's election manifestos made little or no mention of immigration policy.
But according to a draft report by the Cabinet Office, written in 2000, ministers had a secret plan to 'maximise the contribution' of migrants to the Government's 'social objectives'.
Former Labour advisor Andrew Neather, who worked on the report, said the aim was to 'rub the Right's nose in diversity and render their arguments out of date.'