Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Ed Balls Must Do Better

Shadow Home Secretary Ed Ball’s strong point is supposed to be his mastery of numbers, yet he seems confused.

Yesterday on BBC News Ed Balls said: "The problem is 80% of our migration comes from the EU states, they’re not affected at all by the cap which was announced today by Theresa May.’"

The figure is wrong - of the 528,000 migrants last year 292,000 were non-European - that is 55% of the total (Office of National Statistics, Long-Term International Migration Series).

Secondly, the issue is net migration, not migration. Last year inflows and outflows of British and European citizens largely cancelled each other out and non-European net migration counted for more than 93% of the total!

Perhaps Ed Balls has not quite got up to speed yet with his new brief.


Unknown said...

Well what do you expect?

Be interesting to see what Balls does with regard to the new leader of Unite.
McLuskey was not wanted by over 90% of Unite membership so has no kind of mandate at all.

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately for Balls he spent most of the time he had with media today on this subject looking intensely smug, not once was their a counter-point, or indeed one iota of correctness in his figures.

He's part of the problem when it comes to immigration, until we can have a sensible debate about it, filled with facts and not politically convenient fiction, we'll be forever stuck in limbo with half the public convinced we're overrun while businesses cry out for skilled workers from abroad.

Tapestry said...

Too late to quibble about statistical information - get on the streets in Dublin on Saturday. 11 am at Wood Quay to GPO.

Freedom at threat.

Jimmy said...

Obviously businesses requiring non-European recruits should be encouraged to set up elsewhere. Younger readers may be surprised to learn that the conservative party was once considered pro-business.

Elby the Beserk said...

Actually, Iain, net migration can still pose a problem - if we are swapping hard working folk for Islamo-Fascists, for example.

wv. spologie. And I am not going to spologise for what I have just written.

Irene said...

He has never been up to speed with his brief - it has always been waffle.
Now he is in oppo - all will be revealed !

Not a sheep said...

It is not a question of Ed Balls not mastering his brief it is Ed Balls doing what Ed Balls often does best.

Lord Blagger said...

If we get people migrating here who earn 80-90K and pay tax, its a net benefit to the UK. They pay more than 12K in tax, and that's what the government spends per person. The break even line is 40K, per migrant. (Not per family)

Net migration is a sop. The cap is a sop. If you earn more than say 50K (a bit of a margin), and pay tax on it, then that should be the criteria.

That leaves the elephant. What's not being talked about. It illegal migration. With the FCO estimating 1-3 million Nigerians living in the UK, and the last official figure from the home office of 135,000 legally here, there is a huge difference and its illegals. It also ignores the large percentage of the legals who will have committed fraud.

So where's the talk about getting them out of the country? Silence.

So why should we do it?

1. Housing. There is a shortage. All the illegals are living somewhere. It's not surprising there is a shortage. Get rid of them and it frees up living space.

2. Jobs. It creates jobs for those on benefits.

There is the question of an amnesty. Rather racists. If you are British, you've had to pay your tax. More when then HMRC gets it wrong.

Not only should they pay their back taxes, they should pay a penalty, and as tax evaders be kicked out.

talwin said...

I imagine there's little wrong with Ed Balls' mastery of numbers.

His truthfulness and preparedness to dissemble; now that'd be a different thing.

Maverick Ways said...

Ed Ball's and his amazing migrating brain.

Elby the Beserk said...

At November 24, 2010 1:14 AM , Blogger Neil Evans said...

Unfortunately for Balls he spent most of the time he had with media today on this subject looking intensely smug,

He has spent his entire career looking intensely smug. How could one not smack him in the face were one to meet him? It seems to me that he has spent the past six months disassociating himself from everything is mad clown boss did, and for some bizarre reason believing that we believe him.

Oh God. Then there's Alan Johnson who suddenly thinks he has something to offer, after a political life which has offered nothing, except selling the Posties down the line when he ran their Union.

What a total bloody rabble. The need dosing with fousenic (wv, which is in fine fine form at the moment).

Back to Balls, were I on the Coalition front bench, I would respond "So what?" to anything Balls had to say in the House.

Victor, NW Kent said...

Always the confusion over terms. The problem is not migration but immigration.
Then there is emigration and finally nett migration which is the nett effect of both of the others.
However, since our record-keeping is frankly crap, we have no idea of the reality of these.
Of those who emigrate how many are doing so permanently and how many were born here?
Finally we must always bear in mind that the government has absolutely no idea at all of the number of illegal immigrants, obviuosly.

James Chard said...

I'm not a big fan of Ed Balls, but in fact his quote seems to refer to migration generally, whereas you're quoting specifically long-term migration figures. He could be right (I don't know) on all migration, as I suspect short term migration is much more heavily skewed towards the EU.

Anonymous said...

We know he is no good with numbers. He was at the heart of the treasury designing the UK's fiscal disaster.

Unknown said...

But did you hear Ed Balls admit on Sunday they had been wrong about something?- 28 days I think it was. Nearly drove into a tree. When have you ever heard that in the past 13 years? I reckon Brer Big Ed he lie low with Mrs Brer Big Ed and follow Brer Little Ed's advice to play possum (surely mistaken fable -Ed?).

Newmark said...

Clegg said the same during the televised General Election debates.

In a sense, both Clegg and Balls are right.

The Economist (7 April 2010) pointed out that "Workers from outside the EU make up just one-fifth of all immigrants when students (who pay valuable tuition fees) are excluded.

Penfold said...

I don't think maths was ever Ball's strong point.
Whilst at the Treasury with Gordo double counting and false stats was his strongpoint.
The man's a complete and utter loon.
Won't be long before he and Yvette are ensconced at Nos 10 and 11, and Ed M consigned to the dustbin.

PaulieboyCUFC said...

The issue is not net migration, it is gross inward migration. If, to put it crudely, we are gaining foreigners and losing ethnic Britons, such that net nigration is stable, do not be fooled into thinking that everything is fine. In fact, it's even worse.

Chris Paul said...

Perhaps he was talking specifically about recruited workers and/or students which are what the policy is about? Clearly for the moment other flows e.g. refugees and family members co-locating - former presumably and latter very likely not covered in the proposals - include mostly non-European citizens. That is the nature of the times we are in.

It is quite possible that when the figures are properly qualified they are all correct. No idea whether the specifics were clear from the context, but I would be loathe to trust your own unqualified statistics Iain. It looks to me like you are carelessly comparing apples and pears.

Incidentally your first commenter Terry is making a classic error or being extremely disingenuous in his analysis of the Unite vote.