Thursday, 8 April 2010

Immigration A La Woolas

Earlier today Phil Woolas, Immigration Minister, was confronted on the Daily Politics (9mins 15secs in) about the fact that 98.5% of new jobs created since 1997 has gone to immigrant workers - a statistic that he hotly denied.

The figures were compiled by the Office of National Statistics Labour Force Survey. The definition of "foreign born" is the standard measure used across all EU member states and it is conducted at the behest of the European Council. No government department publishes them or uses them. They're not too keen on people finding out about the extent of immigration. But under EU law, the ONS has to collate the information.

The Statistics Commission issued a briefing note on the compilation of statistics on foreign workers and the statistics published by the ONS Labour Force Survey can be found here and here. The definition of "foreign-born" angers some people but anger should be directed at Eurostat. They set the definitions, which are standardised in the Labour Force Survey conducted in every EU country.

What is reprehensible in this entire debate is the lack of honesty in our politicians when using these statistics. Not one of the politicians will admit that these statistics are collated in compliance with EU law, neither will they openly publish the statistics. Not one politician will admit that the greater number of 'foreign born' workers come from the EU - an influx that no government, whilst Britain remains a member of the EU, can do anything about. 

Politicians are currently all on about the 'need for transparency' - well, part of being 'transparent' is being honest and truthful about what they tell us, the voters.

Our present crop of ex-MPs really are self-opinionated, self-important - and deceitful!

H/T: Fraser Nelson

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