Wednesday, 29 February 2012

Another great year for immigration

About a week ago, the ONS published the latest migration numbers for the year up to June 2011.

Here are the main points from the data release.

Long term immigration

The UK pulled in almost 593,000 migrants. This figure was 11,000 higher than in 2010. Every year since 2004, the UK has admitted around half a million new migrants.

Long term emigration

The traffic isn't going one way. Around 343,000 left the UK. This number was about 5,000 lower than 2010.

Net migration

On a net basis, we gained around a quarter of a million people last year. That is a little higher than normal. A typical year, the UK gains about 230,000.

New Commonwealth immigration

Last year was a record breaker for migrants from the New Commonwealth. We gained around 170,000. (Help me out here, what exactly is the New Commonwealth?)

Why do migrants come?

Around half of all migrants cite study as the primary reason for coming to the UK.

National Insurance numbers

In the year up to September 2011, 690,000 National Insurance numbers were allocated to non-UK nationals. That represented an increase of 11 per cent on the previous year.Why we issued more NI numbers than arrivals is a bit of a mystery.

What does it mean?

It is a matter of simple arithmetic that the island of Britain is being repopulated. Large numbers of citizens are leaving, while an even larger number of non-nationals are arriving and establishing permanent residence.

Why is it happening? Personally, I can't really say. I can only offer a few disparate observations about the decline of domestically produced citizens, a rapidly ageing population and the need to import a low wage workforce that is a prepared to do tasks that unskilled locals won't touch.

I don't see any coherent strategy behind this massive influx of people. Do we need more people because we have an ageing population? If so, it would make sense to restrict migration to young people. Are we looking for highly skilled people who can contribute significantly to UK output. Then perhaps we should restrict migration to those with valuable qualifications. Or are we looking for an unskilled docile workforce that UK businesses can employ at low wage rates? If so, we should discourage anyone with qualifications. Or perhaps it is bit of everything.

I wish someone would explain the plan. Why are we importing so many people?

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Anecdotal examples of brother (British) and brother-in-law (Spanish).

At mid-40's brother had to leave for Australia (on spec, no work visa) as he was thought too old. Within 3 months a job, a work visa, likely citizenship, permanent exit from UK.

Brother-in-law same but different country. Had to leave Spain for Switzerland (on spec, no work visa) and got a construction job with high wages and reasonable working conditions.

On a sample of 2, I'd say "it's the economy, stupid". We're de-skilling (comparatively) at a high rate of knots so skilled workers become FIFO's

markymark said...

I'm not sure there is any particular "plan" as such in so much as the ruling elite (politicians, media, business, acadaemia etc) are either economic liberals (right leaning) or social liberals (left leaning). In order to oppose massive immigration you need to be either a bit nationalistic and/or socially conservative. Both of these things are now considered suspect in polite society.

The political parties talk tough game just prior to the election but the have no intention of changing anything - their hearts not in it. I think that most people just accept it as the way things are and get on with their own lives.

Anonymous said...

"I'm not sure there is any particular "plan" as such in so much as the ruling elite (politicians, media, business, acadaemia etc) are either economic liberals (right leaning) or social liberals (left leaning). In order to oppose massive immigration you need to be either a bit nationalistic and/or socially conservative. Both of these things are now considered suspect in polite society.

The political parties talk tough game just prior to the election but the have no intention of changing anything - their hearts not in it"
I agree
"I think that most people just accept it as the way things are and get on with their own lives."
I am not sure about that but the system is against us changing it as our masters don't want to.

Anonymous said...

If people are coming primarily to study, why are we giving out so many national insurance numbers?

dearieme said...

Last time, in the fifth and sixth centuries, lots of people went to live in Brittany - which is how it got its name.

dearieme said...

We were importing people in hopes that they'd vote Labour. We continue to import them lest the Conservative Party become even less "cool".

Anonymous said...

The "New Commonwealth" is the backward part i.e. Commonwealth excluding Canada, Oz, NZ.

Martin

Anonymous said...

As the effect of this policy will be to turn the natives into a minority within a few decades, perhaps that is its purpose?

After all, importing non-Anglophone, illiterate peasants from rural Pakistan and Bangladesh who go one to have high unemployment rates makes no economic sense at all, does it?

Martin

droog said...

(Full disclosure: non-EU, non-Commonwealth migrant on work permit here. Permit awarded on basis of obtaining a British post grad degree and finding a job offer back when employment was higher.)

It's a bit of both, to answer one of Alice's questions.

I was quite miffed when months ago Iain Duncan Smith spoke to a think tank in Spain and said that non-EU skilled migrants had advantages that allowed them beat UK citizens in competition. For the life of me I can't understand what advantages this particular class of migrants have over the indigenous citizenry. For people like me the incentive is between working back home or working in the UK. But this clear benefit in migration does not mean I come to the UK with an edge over the local professionals. This isn't whinging, merely pointing out that IDS said an un-truth and it went mostly unchallenged. Not even the left-leaning press pointed out he made a very specific claim and it was treated as some of the broader claims regarding immigration.

1. For most cases skilled migrants need an UK degree to qualify. They pay 3-4 times more in tuition than UK students. This is a good source of revenue for universities, one which has led many universities to look like diploma mills for foreign students.
2. Skilled migrants do not receive free primary and secondary educatin in the UK, freeing the UK from public outlays. Let someone pay the bill and harvest their professional output.
3. Skilled migrants don't access benefits for approx the first ten years in the UK. I'm not complaining about this. I'm OK with following the rules in the book on this one. But clearly the UK is subsidising its public system by creating taxpayers who have less access to public funds. In other words, the UK's debt and welfare burdens would be somewhat larger if legal migrants weren't chipping in.
4. Some studies have shown that non-skilled migrants depress local wages whilst skilled migrants tend to raise them. This leads me to think that it's not simply about cheap labour but more about getting tax payers that are cheaper to host than citizens with full rights and benefits.
5. We pay tax but we don't vote :P

I'm not unhappy with the arrangement described above, but when I hear Iain Duncan Smith whinging I will whinge back.

droog said...

Mistyping the word 'education' is wonderfully ironic.

Electro-Kevin said...

It's almost certain that most of our emigrants are qualified or self-financing - their destinations won't have much to offer in the way of unskilled jobs and welfare and anywhere decent will have a points system.

It's almost certain that the majority of immigrants are less skilled and less wealthy than those leaving.

Electro-Kevin said...

PS - All this under a Tory led administration with Clegg as cover for the Leftist Cameron.

Message:

Don't vote Tory

livescore said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Ralph Musgrave said...

“I wish someone would explain the plan.” More than a little naïve. You didn’t seriously think there was any sort of coherent plan did you? Co*ck ups explain most of the important events in history.

The only people with any sort of long term plan are Muslims who aim to Islamise Europe. And they’re backed by the politically correct: that’s the bunch of people who are so totally devoid of any constructive ideas or “plans” that their only way of attracting attention to themselves is to destroy their own civilisation.

Apart from that, there is no plan.

droog said...

The Soviets had a plan until recently. Before that was the Yellow Peril. Throughout it all there have been the various Jewish conspiracies.

There's always a boogie man with a plan.

Anonymous said...

I agree with EK, we can't salivate over the skills of the newcomers without looking at what we are losing in the other direction.

The immigration and emigration are corelated, Brits are leaving places like London because its no longer British.


Its too easy to blame conspiracies on cock ups, if that was the case a latter government would see the cock up and change course but it never happens.

I personally believe it is a conspiracy by the pro EU 'British' elites to destory the British national identity for the purpose of preventing us from ever leaving the EU.

If the financial crisis brings down the EU, I hope it does but doubt it, immigration would be brought back under control pretty quickly imo.

---

droog:
I understand that there are many highly educated immigrants who contribute a great deal and would agree with you that the current system is unfair to them, especially those who don't yet have the vote. Although the British gov aren't very chosey on who they let vote in our elections.
ie, anyone from a commonwealth nation + Ireland .....

But I also note that foreign students have become a cash cow for the universities and as such they are held to a different standard.

"UK Universities 'award degrees to non-English speakers' because they pay higher fees
Foreign students with almost no grasp of English are being awarded degrees at top universities, according to a whistleblower."

droog said...

No argument here. It's why I used the term diploma mill.

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