In my earlier postings about MigrationWatch, I mentioned that I'd emailed the Treasury and the Home Office. Because I am a plank.
Well, I had a reply on Friday that I've only just seen. It said:
The £4bn figure quoted by Ms Ryan MP during the Westminster Hall debate was an estimate of the direct economic contribution of A8 migrants since their accession in May 2004. It is not an estimate of the total economic contribution of all migrants, which will be significantly greater. The Migration Watch figures are therefore a underestimate of the increase in GDP per head. [My emphasis].So, MigrationWatch's whole report is a complete load of old rubbish. It wasn't difficult to get this explanation of the figures, I just had to ask. Had I phoned instead of emailing the general enquiries email address, I'd no doubt have got them much quicker. If MigrationWatch themselves were that bothered, they could have asked at some point in the six weeks or so between their two attempts at getting their nonsense findings in the press, and if the papers had actually done that little-known, arcane journalistic practice known as 'fact checking', they'd have found out too.
Estimating the economic contribution of migration is difficult. The Treasury has not made any official estimate of the contribution of migration; the £4bn figure is a ballpark estimate of the direct contribution of A8 migration. It is based on an internal estimate of the net inflow of A8 migrants into the country, including temporary migrants, and an estimate of their average earnings from the ONS' Labour Force Survey. The £4bn figure does not include any consideration of the economic gains from increased returns to capital or greater productivity, which are very difficult to measure.
The effect of migration on economic trend growth is discussed in the following report published in December last year: [Pre-budget Report Link]
What are the chances of this affecting how successful MigrationWatch are at
Sod it, I'm watching Terminator 3. Gives me a more cheerful and realistic outlook on the future. And there's a chase scene involving a crane, so it's better than migrationWatch figures in every respect.