Migration Watch bollocks on new students and ‘strain’ on education


by Sunny
14th October, 2010 at 5:44 pm    

Last night I noted that a BBC story on Migration Watch’s latest “report” on how foreign students were going to place considerable “strain” on our education system didn’t bother with any balance at all. It just regurgitated the MW press release and contained only their comment.

By this morning, the report had been updated to include a comment by Tim Finch of ippr. There’s a rebuttal here by Phillipe Legrain:

1) By using cumulative figures. If you add up spending on anything over a long period of time, it looks much bigger than it really is. Using a single year’s statistics, 2009, and MW’s deeply flawed methodology, the cost of schooling the children of migrants who have arrived since 1998 is £4.6 billion, out of an education budget of £88 billion.

2) By counting children who have one parent who was born abroad as half due to migration. Since Nick Clegg has a Spanish wife, they include half the cost of educating their kids as being due to migration. Excluding that dodogy use of statistics, the cost in 2009 falls to £3.6bn.

3) By ignoring the taxes that migrants pay. Research by the Home Office, IPPR, Christian Dustmann at UCL and others show that migrants pay more in taxes than they take out in benefits and public services. Allowing for that, it is not UK-born taxpayers who are paying to educate migrants’ children, it is migrants who are subsidising the education of the children of people born in the UK.

Will you see any of this basic analysis in the BBC report? Of course not. Their job is to just convert press releases into stories, and let others offer soundbites. The BBC’s reporting has become a joke.

Update Actually it gets worse. Full Fact report:

Moreover, MigrationWatch say that their figures are based on “the ‘principal projection’ by ONS of UK population over the period 2008 – 2033, projects a total of births of 19.8 million, of which 2.3 million are projected to occur, directly or indirectly, because of net migration”.

But after much searching and head-scratching, Full Fact was unable to discover any ONS projections which broke down predicted birth rates by the parents’ place of birth.

A call to the ONS confirmed that no such statistics exist: “”We certainly don’t publish population projection data by country of migrant or any kind of ethnic background,” said a spokesperson, “the sums themselves won’t have been done by us.”

But you wouldn’t get the BBC report pointing that out either, because they can’t actually be bothered to ask some basic questions.


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31 Comments below   |  

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  1. sunny hundal

    Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  2. Robin Ince

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  3. Michael Winter

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  4. Dr Shibley Rahman

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  5. Richard Turner

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  6. Chad

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  7. Samuel West

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  8. Richard Wilson

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  9. Andy Bean

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  10. Ian

    Excellent: Migration Watch rubbish on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51 (via @markthomasinfo @sunny_hundal) #BNP


  11. Nick Nakorn

    RT @sunny_hundal: Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  12. Paul Hunter

    Like everything from Migration Watch, turns out it was just a load of dodgy figures designed to stir up racial hatred http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  13. Richard Peat ?

    Shared: Migration Watch bollocks on new students and ‘strain’ on education http://dlvr.it/71yXk #Race_politics


  14. Peter Williams

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  15. Assonga

    RT @GrumpyOldGay: Like everything from Migration Watch, turns out it was just a load of dodgy figures designed to stir up racial hatred http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  16. Greg

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  17. Andrew Jeffery

    Some balance on the Migration Watch 'report' from @sunny_hundal http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/10476


  18. Andrew Jeffery

    A more critical look at Migration Watch's 'report' from @sunny_hundal http://www.pickledpolitics.com/archives/10476


  19. Niall Millar

    RT @markthomasinfo RT @sunny_hundal Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  20. Richard Hebditch

    RT @sunny_hundal: Blogged: : Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  21. Maisy

    RT @sunny_hundal: Migration Watch bollocks on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51


  22. Ian

    Excellent: Migration Watch rubbish on new students and 'strain' on education http://bit.ly/a5Wy51 (via @sunny_hundal) #BNP #news




  1. Skiamakhos — on 14th October, 2010 at 5:56 pm  

    Wow. Like OMG, we might have to spend on education! But hold on – doesn’t that mean teachers in jobs, schools being built, builders making money, etc, etc? So, they’re whining about the economy being stimulated? What’s up with ImmigrationWatch – are they terminally lazy, that they don’t want to be bothered with all the business these kids create?

  2. damon — on 14th October, 2010 at 6:00 pm  

    I’m not up to speed on this latest comment/press release – but Phillipe Legrain has been around for a while now. He supports ‘open borders’ and unlimited immigration – and will be at that Spiked-Online Institute of Ideas weekend at the end of the month.

    http://www.battleofideas.org.uk/index.php/2010/speaker_detail/210/

  3. Shamit — on 14th October, 2010 at 6:47 pm  

    What about those immigrant parents who send their kids to independent schools? That number would go probably even higher with one foreign born parent and one British.

    We do not have a voucher system – so how did Migration Watch take that into consideration.

    The figure of £100 Billion is based on pure extrapolation (according to Migration watch themselves) – if you take into consideration, the immigration clampdown – most likely parents would be high earners and they would probably tend to send their kids to independent schools. How does that fit into this? It simply doesn’t.

    According to Migration Watch, it would be statistically insignficant (we did ask them today when they called to ask us why we did not write a story or at least publish the press release) – when we asked for evidence – they had no answer.

  4. Trofim — on 14th October, 2010 at 11:21 pm  

    Sorry Skiamakhos, but building, and economy stimulation means more carbon emissions. Making cement is hugely energy-intensive, for a start. Surely you know that the managers of this blog are fervently opposed to anything which contributes to global warming?

  5. Sunny — on 15th October, 2010 at 1:53 am  

    Sorry Skiamakhos, but building, and economy stimulation means more carbon emissions.

    Greens aren’t against building. We’re for sustainable energy and renewable sources.

    Try reading up before you make yourself look like a prat. Again.

  6. damon — on 15th October, 2010 at 3:35 am  

    Migration Watch bollocks on new students and ‘strain’ on education

    I’m guessing that any group like Migration Watch will always have to be deemed talking bollocks – even if they were right about something.

    I’m quite happy to be of the Phillipe Legrain school of thinking. At least in public anyway.
    Privately I have my reservations – but that’s the way it should be I guess.
    Keep your peccadillos private is a lesson for everyone.

  7. Cauldron — on 15th October, 2010 at 5:40 am  

    All these controversies can be eliminated by designing a welfare system that links inputs to outputs. Most people I believe would not have a problem in migrants availing of public benefits (including education) once they had paid a certain amount into the system via taxes. It is the stories of Somalis fresh off the boat seeking free housing that create a sense of unfairness and anger.

    Equally, Migration Watch does the taxpayer a disservice by focusing exclusively on scrounging migrants when the majority of the problem is caused by scrounging indigenes. Wouldn’t it make sense to withdraw benefits from the indigenous underclass after a certain period of time? A fair proportion of Labour/BNP supporters have had access to free healthcare for 60 years, free education for 100 years and yet they are still incapable of bettering themselves. Clearly the welfare state hasn’t worked for these people so we might as well turn off the tap.

  8. Tim Worstall — on 15th October, 2010 at 9:39 am  

    Migration Watch are, of course, fools.

    In this particular instance they’ve missed the most important *saving* that migrants make for the UK taxpayer. Migrants themselves (even if not their children) come into the country already raised and educated. So as a country we get the 30-40 productive years of the migrants’ labour without having to pay the first 20 years of raising and educating them.

    I wouldn’t argue either for or against migration on this basis (just for the avoidance of doubt, I’m in favour of as much free migration as is consistent with being able to maintain a welfare state, even if I do often disagree with peeps around here on how extensive that welfare state should be) but that MW are arguing this particular part of the economic case against without noting the much larger economic case in favour shows….well, as we know, they’re fools, aren’t they?

  9. MaidMarian — on 15th October, 2010 at 10:04 am  

    The problem with MW is that, if you read it very closely, their stuff often makes very good points. Their analysis of the Primary Purpose Rule and their conclusion that is it not appopriate for immigration by marriage was really very good. But you do have to read it very closely to get to the good bits.

    The problem is that they ultimately are a media lobby group and they have to act like panto-dames to get the media oxygen they need. It certainly looks like they have played very fast and loose with the stats here though.

    Cauldron – Perhaps. But an awful lot of the ‘betterment’ of the past 25 years has been down to a property bubble, not the welfare state, investment brilliance, privatisation or anything else.

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