Immigration: national gain should not mean local pain

The economic and fiscal benefits of migration have not always been felt locally


Top of today’s news is a report on the size of migrant populations in the UK, produced by Oxford University’s Migration Observatory. Except it is not really national news at all – the data is entirely what might is expected from Office for National Statistics (ONS) analysis of who is coming and who is leaving the UK.

The Migration Observatory figures measure the number of migrants – overseas-born – people living in England, a number that demographers term ‘migrant stock’. The Census and the quarterly Labour Force Survey are used to make this calculation. This shows that between 2011 and 2014 and extra 565,000 migrants were added to the population of England.

The ONS figures which were published last week measure migrant flow – how many migrants are arriving and leaving, dan use the International Passenger Survey to make this calculation. When emigration numbers are subtracted from immigration we have ‘net migration’ – the statistic that has come to symbolise the success or failure of migration policy. Net migration in the year to June 2012 was 167,000. It was 182,000 in the year to June 2013 and 260,000 in the year to June 2014.

Both sets of figures show that migration from eastern and central Europe has again increased after a lull between 2008 and 2011. Labour has blamed recruitment agencies and unscrupulous employers for these trends. But a conversation with a new migrant shows why migration is growing. The UK economy is growing and the sterling is particularly strong at the moment. One pound will buy you 5.7 Polish zloty today. Back in 2008 there were only 4 Polish zloty to £1, so money earned in the UK was worth less when sent home.

Migration from eastern Europe is quite closely correlated with exchange rates. In 2008 sterling crashed against the zloty and other eastern European currencies. In the 12 months to December 2008 net migration from the 2004 accession countries was just 20,000 people. In comparison, in the year to September 2014 net migration from these countries came to 78,000.

Three of the 2004 accession countries – Estonia, Latvia and Lithuania – are now members of the Eurozone. Estonia has used the Euro the longest: since 2011. It is significant to note that there has been little migration from this country to western Europe. My prediction is that Eurozone membership has the potential to reduce migration from Latvia and Lithuania migration.

But however future migration flows pan out, there is no denying that some areas are experiencing significant population growth caused by international migration. Today’s Migration Observatory figures are broken down by local authority district. What is striking is the uneven distribution of international migrants across the UK. Despite recent increases, the numbers of migrants in many northern local authorities is still small – less than three per cent of the overall population in most local authorities in the North East.

Some 55 per cent of England’s 7.9 million overseas-born people residing in London and the South East. Some of today’s media comment has argued that rapid population growth places a strain on local public services in these areas.

While almost all new migrants are working and pay taxes, including council tax, it is important to note that local authorities have seen unprecedented cuts to their budgets. The economic and fiscal benefits of migration have not always been felt locally. Moreover, councils now receive a three-year financial settlement from central government. While a three-year budgetary cycle provides funding stability for local authorities, it cannot cope with rapid population change.

The youthful demographic profile of migrant population raises some specific issues for future local public service planning, for example, maternity services, school place management and the regulation of private-rental accommodation. International migration means that over the next ten years more school places will be needed in many parts of London and the South East. In such circumstances it is essential that local public services are funded sufficiently to cope with population change.

Over the last 15 years migrants have brought substantial national benefits through increased tax revenues, skills and entrepreneurship. But these national benefits have not always trickled down locally. It is time to reverse this situation of ‘national gain and local pain’ by providing local authorities with the means to manage population growth and promote integration. This should be a priority of the next government, not the flawed net migration target.

Jill Rutter is a contributing editor to Left Foot Forward and writes on migration and family policy

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41 Responses to “Immigration: national gain should not mean local pain”

  1. robert

    Madness ,it cannot go on like this !

  2. JohnRich

    And what about the cultural costs of immigration ?

  3. damon

    Articles like this seem to be just positive spin for more and more immigration.
    If the numbers were double what they are now, the arguments wouldn’t change.
    And they are to always look on the bright side and spin it that way.
    Keep calling people who disagre, racists and so poison any debate like has been done with Ukip.
    LBC radio’s James O’Brien insists on calling Ukip ”the BNP in blazers”.
    He is a perfect example of why there can not be a proper conversation about this issue, and has actually polarised and hardened opinion on both sides.

  4. louis

    honestly, these people would sell away their thousand year old culture, giving away a huge part of their lives for money. when they live in a place where everyone is speaking another language, nobody cares about each other, and there is no sense of community, they’ll see that they’re wrong to let in so many immigrants. when immigrants start to demonstrate racism against the people that let them in (this happens in canada), theyll see what thier foolish ideology caused. leftists have an ideology, they are not progressive or logical. they have a belief and they stick to it dogmatically, let’s not kid ourselves, we have always done fine without immigrants, why start now? and no, don’t start claiming that I’m a racist just because I have the interests of my way of life at heart

  5. DRbilderburg

    Labour and migration They don’t believe it’s a problem because to them it’s not, how many are MPS, forget about sons and daughters of immigrants, today’s immigrants are canon fodder always put with what New Labour consider to be human trash,IE the working class and those in social housing, I find nothing more patronizing and demeaning than MPS defending mass economic migration Their children go to upmarket or private schools They and their family private health care, and they live in areas where Economic migrants don’t
    No i’m not a UKIPPER, i’m a former Labour voter The lowest form of life on planet earth are the bloodsucking human parasites called MPS Liars warmongers thieves I could go on their are many other names i could think of that sum them up perfectly

  6. wj

    And what of quality of life.

    Our cities are now ‘filling in’ every possible green area – nature has nearly completely disappeared from our cities leaving grey, concrete wastelands.

    And we’re meant to vote for more of the same?

  7. Guest

    No, UKIP are evidently fat too far left for you.

  8. Guest

    You’re voting for UKIP, Neoliberals. So you are.

    Meanwhile, house building hasn’t been sufficient since 1980 and you’re opposing housing British people, foreigners being a minor problem.

  9. Guest

    Yes, you sometimes have to see a black face.
    You must be terrified.

  10. Guest

    Let’s use facts about your racism, and now allow you to control the debate by banning words.
    There’s a perfectly healthy conversation, which is why you’re so afraid of it – it’s not going to get you your closed borders, as UKIP don’t have the support for it.

  11. Guest

    You’re talking about you and your capitalists, not immigrants, to start off there.
    Then you blame others for your views, as you demand others vote for you.

    Then you use PC bigotry on “leftists”, as you blame others for your kind of dogmatism. As you say that Britian’s last 1600 years of history don’t exist, and as you defend not paying tax and being able to pay ever-lower salaries – but still too high got you!

  12. Leon Wolfeson

    So basically there needs to be better spending locally. Right.
    Of course you need to discuss why areas are seeing massive cuts, because of government policy – while inflation plunges.

    And as ever, the right have used this as an anti-trade, wages-are-too-high vehicle. Really predictable.

  13. damon

    That’s not even proper English.

  14. wj

    You’ll get used to it after a few visits (and you won’t see Leon Wolfeson and Guest answering each other’s comments – *wink*)

    It’s a game he/they play/s.

  15. Guest

    As opposed to your game of talking to yourself, Lord Blagger.

  16. Guest

    “That’s” is absolutely fine English.

    Really, transparent excuses of yours are transparent, as you don’t dispute what was actually typed….

  17. Pam Chan

    You are a pillock aren’t you. You spend your time arguing with everyone who comes on here. Get a life.

  18. damon

    The thing is though, he’s wrecking any chance of normal discussion about issues on this website.

  19. DRbilderburg

    The great nameless strikes again At least I’m consistent with my dislike of virtually all MPS from all the mainstream political parties. I will never vote again in a UK GE under our FPTP system
    I’m anti war unlike your socialist brothers and sisters, and i cannot see the point in spending 25 billion on an upgraded trident nuclear deterrent that only the US has the keys to. I don’t know how far to the right that takes me
    And i suppose the Labour party endorsing a strategic political alliance with the Tories to counter the rise of the leftwing SNP party isn’t a shift to the right IMO it says voting for either LabCon is pointless. The only thing that will make the 2015 GE watchable is the emergence of UKIP SNP Green
    On immigration the metropolitan so called Socialist elite wave immigrants through them ram them into areas struggling to cope and say it’s great. I believe they are all mouth Living in Kensington and Notting hill i expect no less of them

  20. Guest

    Wrecking any “chance” you can stop all discussion, aww. Your “normal” far right parade of hate rolls on.

    Poor far right winger, with all the sites which would welcome you.

  21. Guest

    Is that what you call yourself today?

    Then you make up some nonsense about socialists. And call for an even more expensive independent deterrent based on a myth.

    Of course Labour are right wing, as you chant the usual hate about the Others, as the mythic Socialists wave their wands, or whatever, as you talk about the people who should have far less in your isolation, or plain not be allowed eh? Just because they’re poor.

  22. Guest

    Ah yes, so because I use facts I’m a “pillock”. Because I rebut your far right, JohnRich, you cry and moan.

    And I have a life, I don’t need to mooch off others like you. How dare I choose how to spend some spare moments…I’m not working on minimum wage for you then!

  23. Godfrey Paul

    Yes. Rotherham and now Oxford. It seems to be young teenage working-class white girls who are bearing that cost.

  24. DRbilderburg

    I havn’t called myself anything other than totally pssd off with the mainstream UK political elite

    Some nonsense about Socialists.. Do i take it you mean wars ,or as you plastic socialists would say humanitarian missions. We’ve been constantly at war/on humanitarian missions since Blair took office in the 90s ,every one fought on lies. I know the Labour party is not a Socialist party but i voted for them on the basis they were one, as did millions of others, what we got was a bunch of warmongering neolibs

    Calling for something more expensive than trident, as far as I’m concerned they can stick trident where the sun don’t shine, as wasting billions on the US military industrial complex i find grotesque

    Immigration affects practically all those who can least afford it. Living as i do in social housing gives me a unique insight that MPS don’t see, and the Liberal elite close their eyes to, yes i do understand how lucky i am to live in the UK but the inescapable fact is i do not live in luxury and you’re happy to ram economic migrants into the country and tell me i should somehow be grateful for their presence, and I’m a racist if i have a difference of opinion

    Iv’e seen obscene rents in the flats where i live a 2 bed flat charging in excess of £200pw meaning the only way these people can pay the rent on the minimum wage is by multiple occupation, is that your socialist utopia and I’m not talking London.

    Is that the fault of immigrants, where i live it is. Private landlords taking advantage it may well be, but facts are facts and for the record i don’t fly a union jack or cross of St George, and while immigration is an issue for me it’s not an issue that would stop me from voting
    Wars of aggression, wall to wall surveillance and a drift towards becoming a police state is a major concern, our rights are being taken away under the pretext of the war against terror
    Believe that and you’ll believe anything

  25. damon

    I wasn’t talking to you.
    You give the left a bad name.
    But I’m pretty sure you’re not genuine, but just trolling for reactions.

  26. Guest

    You know what the Jew is. You understand the “mind” of the enemy. Or rather, you just project your own views onto me, when you come here to specifically annoy those of leftist ideologies.

    How dare I call you out on your censorious tactics, as you try and silence other views. Again.

  27. Leon Wolfeson

    “you plastic socialists”

    Keep the PC bigotry rolling. I’m no form of socialist or communist, of course.
    And Blair is absolutely no form of leftist or socialist either.

    Moreover, IS shows what happens when we don’t intervene.

    Then you say that the 1% can “least afford” immigration. I don’t care if you live in social housing or not, you’re trying to use anecdote against the studies on this. You live the high life, no mere luxury, as you yell that not blocking the borders, ending trade and smashing wages is SO terrible for your rich.

    And no, you’re racist if you express racist opinions. How dare they be round where you live – as you admit you’re not even patriotic, so it can’t be “British” which motivates you – what is it then, skin colour? accent?

    Also, of course, the EU has defended many of my basic rights and blocked government surveillance projects. But you want out of that, too.

  28. jeremycraigweston

    “This shows that between 2011 and 2014 and extra 565,000 migrants were added to the population of England.”

    But it’s not a problem for you is it?

    Well it is for me.

    This is from this morning’s compulsory, (and being monitored by the DW&P,) jobs search:

    B&Q Customer Advisor – TradePoint Department-1500002247
    Salary Banding 10,000 – 12,000 Pound Sterling (GBP)
    Contract Type
    : Part-time Contract Status: Fixed Term

    This vacancy was posted 2 days ago and has already had 280 reviews; which means that there have probably been more or less the same number of applications, in under 2 days.

    Few things I can think off illustrate the real unemployment situation round here quite so clearly or so unambiguously.

  29. DRbilderburg

    You assume a lot and know absolutely nothing
    One of my best friends is Ukrainian
    Another Nigerian
    Not being able to put me in a box is proving difficult isn’t it
    You’ll keep defending mass economic migration, austerity, and endless war to the death literally

    As for IS if we wanted to destroy them we could by denying them state support/sponsorship, yet more BS Islamic Al Qaeda bogeymen, useful to achieve geopolitical interests for the west and and gulf theocracies. IE our allies ,but don’t take my word for it
    You can bruhar till your hearts content when British tommies give em a lesson, teach those damm Islamists We’ll democratize em ey wot ol chum
    i don’t know which part of left wing you’re representing sounds like the Blair wing advocating endless wars, intervening on humanitarian grounds, then when the going gets tough say we’ve achieved a miracle then leave, for the poor beggars we’ve left behind a life of absolute hell awaits them, then they become yet another country whose population seeks refuge in the west to escape the hell we leave behind

    forgive me my cynicism but in defending the EU Which EU are you defending, the pro austerity one or the humanitarian one
    Pro austerity 1000s of greeks have committed suicide over austerity, not bankers shipping billionaires or the top 1% ,were talking pensioners and those least able to afford it ,yet another attack on the poor who were not responsible for any of it

    How about sanctions against Iran, in sanctioning them for nothing we punish the sick and those least able to weather the sanctions storm, is that the humanitarian EU you support, or giving support to violent sectarian racist oligarchs now in charge of the Ukraine

  30. Guest

    Oh right, allowing trade and crossing problems is the issue.

    You blame the Other for the real issue – austerity and capitalism, internal British issues. Cutting us off from the world, ensuring that wages drop sharply and that your type of job becomes all that’s ever on offer…that thousands will pile into anything to escape starving on the streets…

  31. Guest

    “I have foreign friends, really”.

    And your excuses roll on. You’re not in a box, you’re out there rampaging against the poor, as you try and link not defending tyrants and dictators, not closing borders and your beloved austerity.

    Keep trying to minimise the problem which fanatics pose to the West, as you spout off utter nonsense about Blair – a right winger – and the left. All you manage to do is prove your opposition to “humanitarian grounds”, and that you want hell in Britain!

    That you want to isolate the UK to lower wages and remove basic rights which the EU have defended really also gives your agenda away. That you need to try and link Soros to your friends really is sad, too, as you call facts “ad hominens”, as you once more spout off PC bigotry about my “type” (i.e. Jews), and as you support people like Putin and their religious intolerance.

    But keep loving on things like the murderer who ordered snipers to kill in the Ukraine. He’s your level, as you defend him.

  32. Guest

    Oh, far too few people suffering for you. It needs to be the boys as well, eh?

  33. DRbilderburg

    LOL You’re everything you accuse me of .Ramping against the poor. I don’t look upon them as expendable scum as you do. To you we’re subhuman Goyim

    Minimise the the problem which fanatics pose Try looking at your hero and fanatic Netanyahu that would be a great place to start

    Humanitarian grounds.. I’m all for closing Guantanamo and i don’t promote torture as a legitimate means of intelligence gathering You support both

    The Government in Kiev all have something in common with you Thugs Cowards Neo nazi scum, but you ally yourself with them idiologically as well as religiously In them you’ve found your nirvana

    Save your next lecture for the Fabian Society and Human Garbage like Soros

  34. Guest

    Oh, I was being too nice. My bad!

    You use the same old Jewhate slurs, no surprise at all. Blaming the Jew for everything, seeing conspiracies when it’s you.

    You support Putin and his invasions
    You hate basic rights
    You blame Jews and anyone else who isn’t in your far right.

    You. Personally. Then you demand I see things in your good-blood bad-blood way, when I don’t – so you throw more insults.

  35. DRbilderburg

    Stop playing the victim/sympathy card I’m sick of hearing it

  36. Guest

    So you invent nonsense, then say you’re sick of Jews and the truth. Right.

    Also, ohnoes, forged passports. How dare IS!

  37. DRbilderburg

    So you support

    1 An Apartheid Government Israel

    2 Islamic fundamentalism KSA Qatar Turkey Ect Ect

    Neo Nazi’s Ukraine

    How lucky are we that we to have our benevolent Talmudic overlords looking after our interests
    New Labour = Seig Heil

  38. DRbilderburg

    seems your one of the chosen ones..You and your neo nazi clique are welcome to each other

  39. Guest

    You’re screaming that I must be as you see me. As your politically-correct anti-Semitism demands it.

    Nope, I don’t go for that inferiority/superiority crap or your right wing buddies. Get over it. I’m Jewish, I’m alive, cry harder.

  40. DRbilderburg

    Screaming no You seem obsessed with my supposed right wing tendencies and buddies
    Their are no left wing parties to vote for in England. All of them are neolib trash IE Liars. (Thieves Expenses) (Parasites trousering 1000s off lobbyists) Murderers (bombing Iraq Libya) (Iran/Syria sanctions) I won’t be voting for any party in this years General Election
    You and the above a match made in heaven. Shock and awe

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