Immigration Numbers

I am grateful again to Cllr Peter Cawthron for bringing this to my attention.

The migration numbers released by the Office for national Statistics (ONS) this week show that net migration in the year to March 2015 was up 94,000 at 330,000. . So much for David Cameron’s repeated pledge to reduce net migration to the 10,000’s of thousands. And, the reported figure is certainly an underestimate of the true net migration number.

The net migration figure is a difference between the immigration figure of 636,000 and an emigration figure of 307,000. The difference is 329,000, not 330,000, but that is just a rounding effect. These are made up as follows:

Immigration                       Emigration

British                                         83,000                           132,000

Non-British, EU                      269,000                             86,000

Non-British, Non-EU             284,000                             88,000

What are we to make of these numbers ? Well . . . first we should be sceptical. As you may know the UK government does not keep track of those entering and leaving the UK. These migration numbers come from a thing called the International Passenger Survey (IPS), conducted by the ONS. The ONS website says that “The IPS conducts between 700,000 and 800,000 interviews a year of which over 250,000 are used to produce estimates of Overseas Travel and Tourism.”

Separately for 2014 the ONS reports 34.4m overseas visitors and 60.1m UK residents visiting abroad. This means some 189m entry/exit events in 2014. As a quick sense check, Heathrow handles some 75m movements per year. On annual movements of 160m pa a sample of 800,000 in the IPS would be 0.5%. Since 160m is likely to be low and 800,000 is the top bound, the figure is going to be <0.5%.

The survey asks passengers to complete a voluntary survey about their planned length of stay in the UK. A migrant is someone who plans to stay more than 12 months. Is it likely that those planning to overstay their visas are; A – keen to take part in the survey, and B – answer entirely truthfully?

We also have information on the number of National Insurance Numbers issued. In the year ending June 2015 we issued 917,000 NI numbers to foreign nationals. Or, as Nigel Farage tweeted this week, “Given that 192,000 from Romania/Bulgaria registered for NI in year period, how can believe ONS figure of 53,000 from same two countries?”

As well as those applying for NI numbers (ie those working in the taxed sector), immigration will also include dependents and those expecting to work in the black economy. The figure of 636,000 from the IPS seems certain to reflect an actual immigration figure of 1,000,000 or more.

Two things seem obvious to me:

  1. We should keep track of the actual movements into and out of the UK. Transport for London tacks far more movements of its oyster card users, so the technology certainly exists.
  2. The UK should decide the immigration policy for the UK, which is currently decided in Brussels. Yes – that involves leaving the EU.

The damage of not taking these steps is not only that we allow people to come here who we would otherwise choose to keep out, but we will refuse entry to those we would wish to let in. For instance, one action the government has taken to lower net migration is to toughen up the rules for students from outside the EU wishing to study at UK universities, damaging a sector where the UK is truly world class in the process.

Childrens’ Names

This post is not directly relevant to St Paul’s ward or even to Clacton. It is just that I get irritated when I see something reported in a way that appears to pussy-foot around an issue the author is quite unnecessarily nervous of. I am greatful [again] to Cllr Peter Cawthron for pointing this one out. The ONS (Office for National Statistics) have just released the list of names given to newborn boys and girls in 2014, in England and Wales. The press release–england-and-wales/2013/stb-baby-names-2013.html and subsequent reporting, such as in The Independent has been that the two names are Amelia and Oliver.

That may be true in a narrow, literal sense, as Oliver does come in with 6,949 occurences. However, when you put together the spelling of Mohammed, with Muhammed and Mohammad as well, you get 7,445 occurences. Yes – You could add in the Oili’s and Olivier’s as well, but it doesn’t bridge the gap. ONS figures are here–england-and-wales/2013/rtd-baby-names–boys–2013.xls

Mohammed has been the most popular name for baby boys for the last few years, and will be for years into the future. For those who feel uncomfortable with this . . .  Get used to it! For those not so encumbered . . . Enjoy! We have always been a mongrel race.


I had thought that this blog would be entirely focussed on purely local issues. However, the release of the ONS (Office for National Statistics) shows some surprising trends. And, employment is clearly a hugely important local issue. I am indebted to Cllr Peter Cawthron for his work in identifying and making comprehensible the points made here.

For those of you with the will to look into the detail the spreadsheet containing these figures is available here:- .

The headlines show us that unemployment is up 25,000 and employment is down 63,000, comparing Apr-Jun 2015 with Jan-Mar 2014 (which is the standard year on year comparison). Clearly this is not what we would all wish for.

What is very interesting is the way the detail can be interpreted. The Guardian goes with the headline “UK unemployment rises as most new jobs go to citizens of other EU states”. It also states that “nearly 75% of employment growth was among non-UK nationals”, which is comparing Apr-Jun 2104 with Apr-Jun 2015. The article in full is here:- .

If you look into the change over the lifetime of the current Conservative administration (including the last coalition parliament) the ONS spreadsheet shows the following:

Employment Change, Apr-Jun 2010 – Apr-Jun 2015 (Thousands of people):

Total UK 1,841
Born in UK 741
Born outside UK 1,093

This is showing that 59.4% of the jobs created under the Conservatives have gone to people born outside the UK. Of the 1,093 thousand jobs going to people born outside the EU, 663 thousand went to people born in the EU and 431 thousand went to people born outside the EU.

This leaves open the question as to why unemployed Brits appear to be losing out in the jobs market. Are they not able to provide the skills required? Do they prefer to live on benefits? The UKIP policy of introducing a points based system would restrict the flow of low skilled labour into the UK, raising low skilled wages. That would presumably draw people off benefits as the balance between work and benefits shifts. This is particularly relevant for the residents of Tendring, where we do have a high number of low skilled unemployed, compared to the rest of the country. However, it does appear that there are issues around training and benefits as well. Do we train enough doctors? Is a cap of £18,200pa for a single person with no children too generous?


Street Lighting

This is the first time that I have blogged on this subject. however, it was one that came up often during the election and Essex County council seem to regard this as a one-way “no brainer” to save money. It is not. There are definitely places where the lights need to be kept on, either through the night or for longer than currently.

UKIP members of TCD council are solidly behind this campaign and we do what we can within the council. However, lighting is an Essex CC responsibility so it will help if as many as possible can make their views heard. One way is to sign the Change.Org petition that can be found here:

I hope that as many as possible of you will feel able to sign.