Look Left: the coalition’s shameful immigration policies, the employment figures and PRISM

James Bloodworth looks back at the week’s politics, including our progressive, regressive and evidence of the week.

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• New research published this week laid bare the negative impact the UK’s management of immigration has had on British people.

The report, from the All Party Parliamentary Group on Migration, found that the government’s efforts to bear down on immigration numbers through tightening rules on family migration had led to hardship for some families.

Examples included British families stranded abroad, British children growing up without a parent and in one case a breast-feeding mother separated from her British baby.

This week Jenny Pennington of IPPR looked at the impact the coalition’s immigration policies are having on British families and accused the government of using ‘blunt targets’ to dictate policy.

Unemployment decreased by 5,000 between February 2013 and April 2013 to 2.51 million, with the unemployment rate now at 7.8 per cent, Wednesday’s labour market statistics revealed.

The figures included a few headlines the government will welcome, but when looking at the labour market in more detail the long-term picture is less encouraging.

This week we broke the figures as they were released and Richard Exell of the TUC looked at the numbers beneath the headlines and the long-term trends.

• The reported existence of a US online surveillance tactic called PRISM has raised concerns about internet privacy.

The revelations came following the leaking of documents by Ed Snowden, a 29-year-old former technical worker for the CIA, and suggest that the US government is able to access records of individual smartphone and internet activity.

This week Left Foot Forward looked at how the European Union has been fighting back against American attempts to snoop on our browsing habits (not that the right will tell you that, of course).

Speaking of which…

Progressive of the Week:

European MEPs have been speaking out strongly against American attempts to snoop on the browsing habits of us Europeans.

“My data belongs to me, that is the cornerstone of European thinking on data protection,” Manfred Weber, the German vice-chair of the EPP group, told the European Parliament.

British Socialists & Democrats MEP Claude Moraes spoke of “a major breach of trust, non compliant with EU data protection legislation”.

Turns out the EU isn’t so bad after all.

Regressive of the week:

Take home pay for the average FTSE 100 CEO was up to £4.3 million in 2012, an increase of 10 per cent on the previous year.

The top 100 earned £50 million more than the year before and ‘pay for performance’ is still not working, according to the study by Manifest and MM&K.

Luke Hildyard of the High Pay Centre characterised it as a “further unearned and disproportionate increase in the size of executive pay packets”.

Evidence of the Week:

A man in Kensington and Chelsea can expect to live 86 years whereas in Hendon in Sunderland male life expectancy is just 69. Nonetheless, Sunderland will only get 57 per cent of the per head public health funding which Kensington and Chelsea will get.

This week Public Health England published an interactive map showing the levels of variation in early death rates for local authorities across England (or as some have dubbed it, the Early Death Atlas).

All eight of the largest English cities outside London were graded as having among the worse premature mortality outcomes.

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