Wednesday, July 05, 2006


A British article excerpted below

'We recognise the positive contributions immigration makes to the country and the economy," the Prime Minister's official spokesman said last week. "If we don't have migration, we don't have the growth from the economy that we all benefit from." He was responding to some concerns about the rate of immigration raised by Frank Field, the Labour MP for Birkenhead - but Downing Street's claim that "if we don't have immigration, we won't have economic growth" has been stated over and over again since Labour took office in 1997.

If you repeat something often enough, you can perhaps make people believe it. What you cannot do is turn it from being false into being true. And the Government's claim about the economic benefits of immigration is false. As an academic economist, I have examined many serious studies that have analysed the economic effects of immigration.

There is no evidence from any of them that large-scale immigration generates large-scale economic benefits for the existing population as a whole. On the contrary, all the research suggests that the benefits are either close to zero, or negative.

Immigration can't solve the pensions crisis, nor solve the problem of an ageing population, as its advocates so often claim. It can, at most, delay the day of reckoning, because, of course, immigrants themselves grow old, and they need pensions.....

We desperately need an honest debate on the issue. But if the Government's record is anything to go by, it will do everything it can to prevent one.


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