The Mudcat Café TM
Thread #162760   Message #3876987
Posted By: Steve Shaw
14-Sep-17 - 06:22 AM
Thread Name: BS: brexit matters
Subject: RE: BS: brexit matters
From the Guardian, a month before the referendum.

"The Office of National Statistics says that while the numbers of EU workers in Britain has risen by 700,000 since 2013, they are outnumbered by the extra one million Britons who have gone into employment in the same period. The number of British citizens working in the UK labour force is now at the near-record level of 28 million. That compares with 3 million foreign nationals.

As the economist Jonathan Portes has pointed out, it is not a zero-sum game in which there are only a fixed number of jobs to go round: "It's true that, if an immigrant takes a job, then a British worker can't take that job – but it doesn't mean he or she won't find another one that may have been created, directly or indirectly, as a result of immigration."

HMRC figures also show that EU migrants more than pay their way. Those who arrived in Britain in the last four years paid £2.54bn more in income tax and national insurance than they received in tax credits or child benefit in 2013-14. The Office of Budget Responsibility has estimated that their labour contribution is helping to grow the economy by an additional 0.6% a year...

...The Uk Statistics Authority also stresses that the number of people in work is not the same as the number of jobs in the economy. The ONS figures are estimates of the numbers of people in employment, so it is nonsense to talk about them showing "foreigners taking British jobs". They also stress that the figures do not reflect new migration, since they only cover those migrants who come to work, and some of those newly employed may well have been in the UK for some time.

What about the claim that they are depressing wages, particularly for the low-paid?

The most recent research from the centre for economic performance at the London School of Economics says "the areas of the UK with large increases in EU immigration did not suffer greater falls in the jobs and pay of UK-born workers. The big falls in wages after 2008 are due to the global financial crisis and a weak economic recovery, not to immigration."

Several studies have shown a small negative effect of migration on the wages of low-skilled workers in certain sectors in certain parts of the country, particularly care workers, shop assistants, and restaurant and bar workers. The effect has been measured at less than 1% over a period of eight years.

The LSE's Jonathan Wadsworth said: "The bottom line, which may surprise many people, is that EU immigration has not harmed the pay, jobs or public services enjoyed by Britons. In fact, for the most part it has likely made us better off. So, far from EU immigration being a "necessary evil" that we pay to get access to the greater trade and foreign investment generated by the EU single market, immigration is at worse neutral, and at best, another economic benefit."

If you're too impatient or blinkered to read that, or think that everything in the Guardian is automatically a pile of poo, the bulk of it is utterly factual. Admittedly it's about 16 months out of date by now but it confronts arguments used that persuaded people to vote leave. What emerges is that:

Migrant workers do not take British workers' jobs.

Migrant workers do not "drive wages down."

Migrant workers do not overload public services.

Migrant workers actually create extra jobs by coming here.

Migrant workers make a significant net contribution to the economy and are in no way a financial burden to the country. In fact, they contribute significantly to our economic growth. We could do with a bit more of that.

The leave campaign was largely predicated on "taking back control of our borders." The facts show how bogus that argument was. We were being lied to.