Migrants and tax credits – Cameron ‘misguided and misleading’, say researchers

Cameron misleading on migrants

By Russell Bruce

The National Institute of Economic and Social Research (NIESR) has released some limited information from the UK government on migrant tax credit claims.

Jonathan Portes, Principal Research Fellow at NIESR, said: “The Prime Minster’s focus on migrants’ benefits is misguided and this new data shows that the Prime Minister’s claim that 40 percent of recently arrived European migrants were dependent on benefits was at best selective and misleading.

“Given that well over a million European migrants registered for National Insurance numbers over the period in question [2009/10 to 2012/13] , and far more since, this suggests that claim rates among newly arrived migrants are, as researchers have always argued, quite low. Once again this suggests that the PM’S focus on this issue is misguided – the “emergency brake”” will have only a modest impact on benefit receipt, and is highly unlikely to have a significant impact on migration flows.”

He added:

“This latest data still leaves some important questions unanswered.  In particular, the UK government is still refusing to tell us – for obvious political reasons – how many recent European migrants are recorded as being active in the UK labour market.”

In finally releasing this long awaited data the government chose to limit the information provided. Researchers and journalists are still waiting for freedom of information requests to be properly fulfilled. It seems the missing information might be an inconvenient truth undermining the Conservative governments chosen narrative.

Portes added: “But a distressing lack of transparency and a continued approach of only releasing partial and selective data continues. This is both disappointing and unhelpful for the public debate.”

Substitute unhelpful to David Cameron and UKIP jumping jacks and we begin to see for whom public debate is unhelpful.


  1. Cameron learned from the Scottish referendum that a long campaign gives people time to think,making the outcome uncertain.
    A short campaign based on B/S propaganda is more likely to produce the result he wants.

  2. If migrants are to be denied certain In Work Benefits for 4 years surely it must follow that they must pay lower NI Contributions to compensate for being made second class.

    Otherwise it could be argued that they would be subsidising those entitled to all the benefits.

    • Not just reduced NI contributions but reduced taxes too because our social services are funded by more than NI.

      But where are the benefits to stop – job seekers allowance, housing allowance, working tax credits, council tax credits, pension entitlement, healthcare, educational support, healthcare, access to use of public services and so on. Where is the line to be drawn and what kind of underclass will this create. Or what kind of resentment will this policy of Apartheid engender not just in the UK but in the rest of the EU as tales of how compatriot nationals get discriminated against seep out. South African sytle Apartheid is on it’s way – but hey, they’re foreigners aren’t they!

  3. It used to be that immigration, immigrants and refugees could not be discussed in the uk politically.

    Now it appears that in the uk that refugees and immigrants are the sole reason why the country is in austerity and everyone perceives refugees and immigrants as having a negative impact on society! Refugees and immigrants are used synonymously by uk politicans to confuse and conflate.

    Except in Scotland! Scots have always been migrants and immigrants and at times refugees.

    The current situation in Syria is heart breaking and let’s not forget the uk’s part in this humanitarian disaster by bombing the Middle East for quarter of a century (yes 25 years +) and replacing regimes in Iraq, Afghanistan and Libya. Also their supporting of Saudi in Yemen, bombing Syria and supporting over throw of other Middle East regimes.

    When you believe your grannie or child should have innovative drugs from the NHS or cuts to libraries are unacceptable, ask yourself what benefits you have gained from bombing Iraq or Syria?

    Could the billions wasted on waging war, killing people and providing a reasons in the minds of some to embrace radicalism, twisted ideology and IS, have been spent more wisely?

    Also if the uk and others had not bombed Iraq or Syria or supported regime changes in the Middle East, do you think that people in winter would be jumping in to inflatable rafts to cross the Mediterranean fleeing from the chaos in Syria to come to Europe? These people have no choice, they are entirely desperate and terrified for their lives!

    Do we really want Scotland’s voice in the world on this catastrophe to be represented by aristocrats like cameron and his like who have absolutely no empathy, feeling or understanding of others outside their own circles?

    I don’t think the attitudes of people in Scotland or England evolve differently as individual people or peoples, however I do think that politicians in Scotland, led by The SNP, have taken the humanitarian line and welcomed refugees whereas those in England have tried to out do each other on being hard on refugees and sought to draw a line 21 miles south of Dover.

    I have at times wondered if Scotland’s experience with The Highland Clearances has had an impact forging our outlook?

  4. Never mind the self appointed “Professional Pundit Brains”, …….the “Experts”,….. and the hellish BBC blizzard of “Westminster Queens, Queers and Comic Singers” comments today, re this “In / Out” bilge on offer, then just listen to Cameron explaining how the South East of Engerland will be swamped by the “Calais Jungle” !!. Cameron has to be without a shadow of doubt an absolute world class AH !!!

    1, The UK / France border agreement has bugger all to do with the EU.
    2. Calais will no doubt be delighted to be Cameron’s “Dumping ground plan ” for a “Bunch of migrants” ,… and
    3. Swamping Sauff East Engerland with real desperately in need people sounds to me like a bloody good reason for voting NO on this one !

    Our SNP leaders and strategists may be in for a wee surprise following a much deserved total victory in May. Jimmy Reid, Jim Sillars and Co., are correct when it comes to what Independence really is. Stick the EU dross and look to EFTA / EEC, and the Nordic Community, (even including closer ties with Russia re O&G since OPEC is purely USofA politics).
    Go for a Scottish Crown currency, (Bruce Crown), and absolute power of the people of Scotland,……….. save only under God alone.


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