Open and honest debate?

The IPPR report is a long one which deserves a harder look at than the bits I've fleetingly covered here. I'll be reading it thoroughly before posting about it again. I just wanted to make the following cheap points.

Okay, an IPPR report is published that includes comprehensive information on the average economic status of immigrants to the UK, broken down by country of origin - 'Britain's Immigrants: An Economic Profile'. As we would expect from such a report, the results are complex and cover many things, but the conclusion states:
What we can say, however, is that based on the relatively simple ranking system employed in the tables presented above, it is clear that on most criteria, most immigrant groups do better in economic terms than the UK-born population. Overall, when we take into account the relative size of the groups studied in this report, it would seem that the average immigrant has better economic characteristics than the average UK-born person. [Emphasis in the original]
So, how does the Daily Mail cover the report? Does that part of the conclusion get top billing, is it fudged or is it completely ignored?

That's right! It gets completely ignored! Well done you - give yourself a big curly tick.

The headline is 'Labour thinktank names immigrants who are a drain on the taxpayer', and no mention is made of the fact that the average immigrant 'has better economic characteristics than the average UK-born person', or that most immigrants groups rank better than the UK-born either. None at all.

And, although the Mail story does say:

The report also confirms the widespread perception that Polish-immigrants work hard for less money than most British-born workers would accept.
the report also says a lot of other things about the Polish that go curiously ignored. More later, but firstly, the paper does include the number of people from Poland who are in employment, the number who claim income support and the number in social housing on a table. Poland is joint 3rd highest in terms of the number in employment according to the IPPR, tied with Canada. It's also joint 4th with Canada in terms of the lowest number in social housing, at 8%. Poland is joint second in terms of the lowest number on Income Support, with just 1% claiming it , and Canada is joint 6th, with 2%. Now, bizarrely, although the Mail's table only combines these three criteria, which should show Poland as third on the table - higher than Canada since fewer Poles are on Income Support - Poland is shown below Canada at 4th. That's just childish.

Anyway, some things the paper doesn't mention (which is no surprise given it's earlier screeching I covered in 'Why the figures don't matter') are that Poland tops the tables for the fewest people on unemployment-related benefits, the fewest number on sickness and disability benefit, and has the second lowest number of people on Child Benefit. In fact, in every single category concerning claiming benefits and social housing, Poland comes above the UK-born. Don't expect that to mean an end to crowing about how much the Polish get though. This is the Mail we're talking about, and it's already successfully ignored that fact in this very article.

There's a nice comment article in the print version too, headlined 'Counting the cost', which says:
FROM Labour’s favourite think tank comes a fascinating insight into the biggest wave of immigration in history.

In what amounts to a league table of groups claiming the most benefits, the Institute for Public Policy Research reveals that 39 per cent of migrants from Somalia are on income support, while 80 per cent live in subsidised social housing.

The other incomers most likely to be dependent on welfare come from Turkey, Bangladesh, Pakistan and Iran.

Of course there is another side to the story. Properly managed migration can bring considerable advantages. Indeed, key services couldn’t function unless they employed people from overseas.

But have we seen even a hint of proper management under ten years of Labour? The case for an honest, open debate on this issue grows ever more compelling.
Ooh - not a hint of proper management. No mention though, that the average immigrant has better economic characteristics than the average UK-born citizen, or that most groups rank better than the UK-born. Funny that.

Which perfectly reveals the biggest myth of all about immigration pushed by the right wing tabloids - that they want open and honest debate. Do they heck as like.

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