Migration Watch UK Evidence to MAC Review on Low Skilled Work
13th December, 2013
1. Large scale immigration by low paid workers from the EU reduces the wages of low skilled British workers, adds nothing to GDP per head but adds considerably to pressure on public services. In-work benefits are a huge incentive and must be reformed. Recommendations are at paragraph 14.
2. Migration Watch UK believes that significant inward flows of people can detrimentally affect the chances of the native born in the labour market. In particular large flows from Eastern Europe, where wages are far lower and for whom there are no employment restrictions, are particularly detrimental to those native born workers who possess lower skills levels and especially younger workers in London. Moreover, the system of social security in the UK and the effective tax rates for the low paid distort the labour market by disincentivising work for the native born. This evidence note is confined to a discussion of low skilled migrant labour from East Europe since there has not been a direct route for non-EU workers to come to fill low skilled routes for many years.
3. We welcome the opportunity that the MAC has provided for people to submit evidence with respect to “‘real-life’ perspectives” that they may have experienced themselves or observed in their local area. This type of anecdotal evidence has for too long been disregarded by desk-based economists who have ignored what cannot be input into a spreadsheet but which has a significant impact on people’s lives.
Read the full Briefing Paper 4.26
Comment on Scottish White Paper - Scottish Immigration Proposals Unsound and Unacceptable
2nd December, 2013
The proposals in the Scottish White Paper issued on 26 November are unsound for Scotland and unacceptable to the rest of the UK. They would provide a barn door to England. That is the conclusion of a study released today by Migration Watch UK.
The White Paper starts with the assertion that one of the major gains from independence for Scotland will be responsibility for immigration policy. It claims that Scotland has a different need for immigration which the current Westminster government have not supported. In fact, immigrants have been entirely free to go to Scotland but have chosen not to. Nevertheless, the authors clearly harbour ambitions for a very different immigration policy, one which threatens the integrity of border controls in the rest of the UK.
The proposals themselves have a number of serious weaknesses:
Commenting on the White Paper, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migrationwatch UK, said “These proposals are unsound and, indeed, unnecessary for Scotland. They are also likely to be non-negotiable both with the European Union and with the government in London. This would not just be a back-door to the rest of the UK; it would be a barn door. No government in London could possibly accept that. Scotland must either have an immigration policy consistent with other members of the Common Travel Area or they must accept immigration controls at the border. This must be a red line in any future negotiations on Scottish independence. We cannot afford to sleep walk into the destruction of our border controls”.
Migration Watch UK response to Latest Net Migration Statistics
29th November, 2013
Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK said:
“The government’s immigration policy is succeeding in reducing net migration from outside the EU, now down by over a third to its lowest level since 1998. But the recent increase in migration from the EU will render it still more difficult to achieve their target.
A continuing problem is the low outflow of non-EU migrants which has been steady at around 100,000 for ten years despite inflows of 300,000 or more for most of the period. A very significant part of this is students who have been arriving at an annual rate of 139,000 over the last five years while this new data confirms that they are leaving at an annual rate of only 50,000 a year.
Meanwhile there is no evidence that immigration policy is constraining economic activity. Visitor visas are up by 15%, work visas are up by 5% and University sponsored applications are up by 7%. “
Net migration quintupled from 50,000 in 1997 to 250,000 in 2010. Nearly 4 million immigrants have arrived since 1997. Net migration fell to 176,000 in the year to December 2012 as government policies took effect.
A migrant arrives almost every minute but they leave at only just over half that rate.
We must build a new home every seven minutes for new migrants.
England is already, with the Netherlands, the most crowded country in Europe, excluding island and city states.
The population of the UK will grow by over 7 million to 70 million in the next 15 years, 5 million due to immigration - that is the equivalent of the current populations of Birmingham, Leeds, Glasgow, Sheffield, Bradford, Manchester, Liverpool, Bristol and Oxford.
To keep the population of the UK, now 62.3 million, below 70 million, net immigration must be reduced to around 40,000 a year. It would then peak in mid-century at about 68 million.
Revised September 2013
“One spectacular mistake in which I participated (not alone) was in lifting the transitional restrictions on the Eastern European states like Poland and Hungary which joined the EU in mid-2004. Other existing EU members, notably France and Germany, decided to stick to the general rule which prevented migrants from these new states from working until 2011. Thorough research by the Home Office suggested that the impact of this benevolence would in any event be 'relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010'. Events proved these forecasts worthless. Net migration reached close to a quarter of a million at its peak in 2010. Lots of red faces, mine included.”
Jack Straw, the Labour MP for Blackburn and former Home Secretary, speaking to his local newspaper about the 2004 Accession of the A8 to Europe and Labour’s decision not to impose transitional controls on workers from these countries. The Home Office forecast that just 13,000 would move to Britain. The current population of A8 nationals in the UK is over one million. (November 2013)
Helen Boaden, Director, Radio and until recently Director, BBC News, accepts that when she came into her role in September 2004 there had been a problem in the BBC’s coverage of immigration. She was aware, she told us, of a “deep liberal bias” in the way that the BBC approached the topic, and specifically that press releases coming from Migration Watch were not always taken as seriously as they might have been.
Helen Boaden’s Evidence to BBC’s Prebble Review (July 2013)
People didn't believe the authorities knew what they were doing and there's a very good reason for that - they didn't.
Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, reported in The Sun (21 October, 2008)
I have made this point many times before but can we please stop saying that Migration Watch forecasts are wrong. I have pointed out before that Migration Watch assumptions are often below the Government Actuarys Department high migration variant.
An internal Home Office email they were obliged to release to MigrationWatch (29 July, 2003)