Letter from Damian Green detailing the latest immigration figures

Here is a copy of a letter I have today recieved from Damian Green, which details the latest immigration figures:

Dear Colleague,

I thought it would be helpful for you to have the details of the latest immigration figures, which show the real difference our tough policies are making. There has been an overall fall in net migration, and the number of visas issued is at its lowest since 2005. At the same time, we are able to support the growth of tourism in the UK.

The key points are:

Net migration is falling as our reforms take effect. It is down by 36,000 between December 2010 and December 2011, with 26,000 of this fall occurring in the last quarter. The latest figure, 216,000, shows the scale of the challenge we inherited and is still much too high, which is why we have continued to introduce policies to bring it down to the tens of thousands by 2015.

The numbers for visas issued, which are more up to date, covering a period to June 2012, show:

• Student visas down 30%
• Work visas down 7%
• Family visas down 10%.
Grants of extension to stay are down 11% in the year to June 2012, and settlement grants fell by a third over the same period.

Apart from our commitment to reduce the numbers we are also determined to make the system more selective and the evidence of our success is emerging in these figures. Despite the fall in overall work visas, skilled work visas rose 4%. There was a 3% increase in tourist visit visas, and in the vital Chinese market we saw a 28% increase in visitors. This shows that immigration control is compatible with the growth agenda.

What these latest figures show is that the reforms we have introduced across all the major routes of immigration are beginning to bear fruit. We will be relentless in pursuing these reforms.

Yours sincerely,

Damian Green

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  1. Iain Gill
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    this guy is a disgrace

    he is still handing over indefinite leave to remain and British citizenship to thousands of ICT visa holders and their families simply for working in this country a few years

    he is still allowing ICT visa holders to be taxed a lot less when working in this country than native British workers are

    he is still allowing (some foreign-ed) outsourcers to play pairs up, so one of a pair works here for a year swaps with their paartner and goes back (home-ed) while his partner comes here for a year, and swap back. supposedly temporary entrants who as a pair permanently deprive a Brit of a job.

    hs is still allowing (some foreign-ed) outsourcers to sponsor thousands of ICT work visas while they have no substantive UK workforce and are staffed far and away in the majority by cheaper workers they have brought in from (overseas -ed|), in occupations and skills which are officially not is short supply here

    he is still allowing ICT visas to be handed to companies registered in tax havens paying minimal UK tax

    he is still allowing spouses of ICT work visa holders to work unrestricted for anyone in this country

    he is still allowing family members of ICT visa holders to come to this country with expensive medical conditions and be allowed to enter our NHS facilities pretty much on arrival at great expense to us

    he is still allowing ICT visa holders to bring many children in all getting free schooling while their parents pay far less tax here than an equivalent Brit

    he is still issuing many work visas to nationals from countrys which make it all but impossible for Brits to get reciprocal work visas and countrys which do not supply reciprocal terms and conditions to any Brits working in their country

    he is still allowing mass multi dimensional rule breaking by (some foreign -ed) outsourcers across immigratrion, tax, company law, data protection, intellectual property protection law, employment law which all force decent legal law abiding british companies out of business

    he should hang his head in shame

  2. forthurst
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:40 pm | Permalink

    “There has been an overall fall in net migration”

    There needs to be a complete cessation of references to ‘net migration’ …….. In view of Andrew Nether’s disclosure of a secret plot involving such Labour luminaries as Jack Straw and Barbara Roche, neither of whom in point of fact is English, to ‘multiculturalise’ England with substantial (net) immigration, the tap needs to be turned right off. For Mr Green to say in effect that he is still trying to multiculturalise England, but more slowly than Labour is not acceptable.


    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:31 pm | Permalink

      This is why they targeted net migration as a figure….i.e. they knew that it could be obscured by the outward migration. The truth is that the statistical basis of the figures is shaky. Mr Green talks about lowering visa totals. There are still close to 2.5 million visas issued annually, but this does not include travel to the UK by non visa nationals. Without accurate arrival and embarkation figures, it is very difficult to make accurate judgements….


      • Electro-Kevin
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:50 pm | Permalink

        Not only that – the outgoing people will be qualified by education or wealth to be accepted in their new countries. There will be no welfare or NHS waiting for them.

        I agree that we need an influx of qualified people to make up for those who have made their escape but, in the main, we have been accepting just about anybody.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:42 pm | Permalink

      Immigration should not be reduced, it should be stopped and reversed in some cases. It was reported last week that one in four births were to mothers not born in the UK. Mr Green has failed to take substantive action over the previous two and half years to fulfil the the election pledge to bring migration down to ten of thousands and every sane commentator does not hold out much hope this will be achieved. Based on performance he should go or resign. Like Messrs Cameron and Osborne, he is out of touch with the public mood.

      Based on the Mr Nether’s assertion there should be a public inquiry and politicians held to account- no sham Chilcot inquiry lease.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

        The figures produced also do not show that students had two years to leave after they finish their course, therefore are they included; can they even be traced?? You might recall that this measure was not introduced straight away but in advance. Grant extension to stay does not mean they have left only requests to stay have dropped. How about EU migration?? Oh dear, this information is so helpless.

    • APL
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:51 pm | Permalink

      forthurst: “but more slowly than Labour is not acceptable.”

      That sums up ‘Tory’ policy across the board.

      The same as Labour, but just a teeny weeny bit slower.

    • Martyn
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:06 am | Permalink

      Well, I suppose if true it is a move in the right direction, but I suspect it is now far too late to have much of an affect on our overcrowded, densely populated island. According to the latest figures 63 million people now live in the UK – an additional 4.3 million since 2001. England and Wales have experienced the largest ten-year rise since records began and 25% of all births were to mothers born abroad.

      No wonder the government wants to build hundreds of thousands of new homes sprawled out across our green and pleasant land. But where will be the infrastructure needed to support that – transport links, places of work, schools, hospitals and so on? Houses and infrastructure cannot be conjured up out of thin air – seemingly the big builders are sitting on their land banks because of their profit margins are not good enough at the moment. It seems to me that the government will have to incentivise builders with cash raised from increased borrowing and taxation.

      I am so dim that I cannot understand how that, if it happens, would drive forward our sagging economy….

      • Steven Whitfield
        Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        I suppose a nightmare scenario would be a rapidly rising population aligned with a declining economy unable to pay for the infrastructure expansion ..but i fear that the politicians havent thought of that.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      Not much hope of Cameron turning the tap off when he is a supporter of the (word left out) UAF (ironically named Unite Against Fascism).
      These (people-ed) and others like them are one of the reasons why nothing is done to curb mass immigration. They attack both the police and anyone who opposes multicuturalism/communism. The politicians are (scared of this group-ed). How many other “Tories” support the UAF Mr Redwood?

  3. Brian Tomkinson
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:44 pm | Permalink

    Not a very detailed presentation. Perhaps that’s not surprising as I read that the Migration Observatory, which is based at the University of Oxford, said margins of error mean that net migration figures could actually be 35,000 higher or lower that those stated by the ONS. I find Green to be very unconvincing. Let us hope he is ditched this week and someone put in with some real drive and determination.
    We are given the net migration figures but I should also like to know what contribution the new immigrants are bringing and what contribution those emigrating from here are taking out of the country. For example it would be possible to boast that net immigration was down to tens of thousands per annum instead of hundreds of thousnads and yet find that there were 1 million new immigrants with 901,000 leaving the country.

  4. Antisthenes
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 3:45 pm | Permalink

    However much we bash David Cameron and wonder about his right wing credentials there are quite a lot of able people in government and bits of true blue appear like miracles now and then. We do have to thank people like Pickles, Gove, IDS and even Langsley (he has done his best under the circumstances). Note that success rarely gets a mention only bad news gets journalists rubbing their hands gleefully especially the BBC and the Guardnistas.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:24 pm | Permalink

      Are you trying to change the subject?

  5. lifelogic
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:20 pm | Permalink

    The problem is many of those leaving are wealthy and self financing and very many of those arriving are not and will just be a net cost on other tax payers. Many will, in due course, bring over elderly relatives and other dependants who may also be a further huge burden on the state. The Osborne tax benefit system encourages the rich to leave and low earners to come, so that is what indeed happens – I assume therefore that that is what he and the government wants.

    The above letter is full of the usual spin and half facts, as one expects, but eventually it admits nearly quarter of a million net migration or a new Manchester every two years. I assume this excludes the EU migrants and illegals too but he does not say so or estimate them.

    Lots of silly claims with little clear definitions unless you already know the system. Skilled workers I see need to show just £900 in cash not even enough for a flat deposit on arrival or two weeks in a cheap hotel.

    A single worker with say a non working wife and two school children is likely to be a net financial burden on the state unless they earn about £60,000 by my estimation. How many of the new incomers earned more than that I wonder. Also they are also perhaps more likely to send some funds overseas to relatives rather than spend it in the UK and to need additional public services.

    We have at least these 220,000 of extra people PA and yet still our gross GDP is still falling further and so falling even more per capita.

    I am in favour of migration but only for those actually needed and who are not likely to be a financial liability to the other tax payers.

    This statement is just pathetic spin and fails to address the issue at all.

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:39 pm | Permalink

      A very to the point comment, lifelogic……Your point about needing to earn around 30,000 pounds to avoid being a net burden on the state is I believe correct. You have also correctly identified the lack of differentiation in choosing who should enter the UK on a long term basis. This is particularly true with regards to EU nationals. Legally, they can do nothing about this. It will get interesting with more Romanians/Bulgarians expected soon….. Mr Green quotes headline figures, and hopes to convince people that it is indicative of a trend. If he wants to get a sniff at a loss less than 100,000, he will need to say his prayers…..


      • lifelogic
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:03 pm | Permalink

        If they have two children at state schools you probably need a joint income of about £60,000 even – for the state to break even.

    • Disaffected
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

      Calibre of those leaving better than those arriving. It was reported last week that 8,000, yes 8,000, doctors have migrated to Australia and New Zealand over the past 5 years. All trained here. Now that is a return on the investment of training- not. Only in Cameron/Osborne economics.

      • stred
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm | Permalink

        The professionals, that I know to be leaving for down under, train doctors in top medical schools. But they have run out of grants for research, mainly from squeezed charities. Their university put pressure on them to do the impossible, so they have left.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 7, 2012 at 7:40 pm | Permalink

          Indeed that is what I hear too.

    • Bazman
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:04 am | Permalink

      The state subsidising cheap labour? Are you quetioning your Laissez-faire fantasy world.

    • uanime5
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:47 pm | Permalink

      Perhaps minimum wage should be raised to £30,000 per year to ensure that everyone who works isn’t a net financial burden to the state. Think how much would be saved through lower welfare payments.

  6. Vanessa
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:28 pm | Permalink

    What he does not mention are the immigrants from the EU which we have no control over and will never be able to reduce. We have always had people from the Commonwealth coming here for various reasons now, it seems, we have to tell them not to come because we are overloaded with EU (arrivals-ed).
    Good work “Green”!

    • bob webster
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:14 pm | Permalink

      If we leave the EU we regain the ability to control our borders. We also get rid of the EU human rights laws that make it almost impossible to remove undesirables, criminals and suspected terrorists. Vote UKIP.

      • Disaffected
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

        Spot on.

      • BobE
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:35 pm | Permalink

        I do now

      • Russ
        Posted September 5, 2012 at 3:09 pm | Permalink


  7. Tony
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:29 pm | Permalink

    No mention of the other side of the immigration coin, that of free movement of people across the eu. This is truly a scandal of epic proportions because eu migrants are free to come here when they want and have pretty much free access to jobs, health, schooling etc. Until eu migrants are added to the immigration total then the figures are meaningless.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:57 pm | Permalink

      Indeed they can even get benefits for children and relatives not even in the UK but still at UK rates I understand.

      • zorro
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:43 pm | Permalink

        Yes, this indeed the case ably assisted by DWP…..It is actually quite fruitful as grandma often uses the child benefit to look after the child (at far higher rates) in Poland until the parents have obtained suitable accommodation….and of course a school.


      • Nina Andreeva
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:58 am | Permalink

        There is absolutely nothing to stop anyone from the UK moving to somewhere nice where English is widely spoken, say Munich and picking up still generous Harz IV benefits courtesy of the German taxpayer.

        • Tony
          Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:43 pm | Permalink

          “English is widely spoken” What!?!? In Germany, are you for real? Most eu migrants are poor eastern europeans who see the UK as an affluent oasis. Very soon this country will have (run out of money for such people) and they will move on to the next european utopia whilst the UK becomes an impoverished third world state like those of eastern europe.

      • Bazman
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:07 am | Permalink

        This is true.

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:45 pm | Permalink

      My understanding is that there is an estimate made of EU nationals as they have no way of counting them on arrivals. The statistical collection and methodology is dire….


  8. Monty
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:39 pm | Permalink

    Regards the row about the foreign students at LMU, it seems to me there are two main lessons to take away from this:

    1. There is a need to go on the offensive against the LMU management, and their delinquency in failing to carry out clear and well defined procedures. It is that very delinquency which has plunged their genuine overseas students into chaos. They have failed to check and underwrite the provenance of all of those students. Rather a lot of pretendy colleges, often a single office above a chip shop, have been closed down after it turned out they were effectively selling immigration routes. LMU should have pulled out all the stops to ensure they were well clear of that disreputable practice.
    2. The Government’s timing on this closure was dire. And that matters, because it hands ammunition to the left.

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:48 pm | Permalink

      This is because they rather unwisely introduced a ‘points based system’ which basically allowed the college to choose who could come to the UK. Not unsurprisingly, they filled their boots with not much attention paid to the quality of the student. For the immigrant who would previously have paid a people trafficker and the ‘college’ it was a bit of a win-win scenario…..


    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:43 pm | Permalink

      I see that the university is now seeking a judicial review of the decision……Get ready for a climbdown……


      • zorro
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:44 pm | Permalink

        Unsurprising really, as instead of concentrating on the dodgy student, they are clamping down on the university which disproportionately impacts on the genuine students there…..


    • Mark
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:52 pm | Permalink

      I read that other “universtities” who currently effectively have the right to print visas for “students” are also under investigation. Perhaps we may even see prosecutions for immigration offences from among the admissions departments concerned, alongside deportations of those who paid for scam entry. I’d ask why it has taken so long. Anyone who looked at the numbers could see that the student route was being massively abused: I have repeatedly drawn attention to it.

      Damian Green had some reasonably sensible proposals for reform of the student system all worked up and ready to go before the election. His officials seem to have buried them.

      • stred
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:26 pm | Permalink

        University/polytechnics have been incentivised into this racket for at least 12 years. They were made to increase numbers by Labour as an unemployment reduction measure, then they had to earn their way by signing maximum numbers. If the ‘students; never turned up for lectures and were working instead, who cared, as it cost less.

  9. Richard1
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I wonder about the Conservative attitude on immigration. Immigration of productive, tax-paying workers is good news, likewise fee-paying international students. The more the better. What we dont want is criminals, terrorists and social security scroungers. The cap seems to having a very deleterious effect in a number of sectors (eg software, where there arnt enough home grown engineers). The London Metro Univ episode also seems odd, punishing the innocent with the guilty (if the place is closed). Shouldnt the Govt just fire the whole admin of LMU for incompetence, and perhaps privatise it, kick out the students who shouldnt be here but welcome the ones who should?

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:41 pm | Permalink

      you are factually wrong

      software profession is NOT on the official skills shortage list, there is no shortage of home grown skills

      • Richard1
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:52 am | Permalink

        Not sure what your expertise is but if thats the case the official skills shortage list is not accurate. To my certain knowledge recruitment of qualified people in this area is very difficult. In one case I know a company has opened up in Canada (partly also because of tax incentives) in order to get the right people.

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:38 am | Permalink

          I have been in the software business for 30 years with lots of international experience. In recent years there has been no shortage of software skills in this country whatsoever. Indeed we have many experienced IT professionals out of work, many computer science grads who cannot get a job. We have (many people from overseas-ed) in the country working in IT who have been allowed in regardless of the fact there is no skills shortage and they are routinely subcontracted into other companies for less than a Brit can afford to work for.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

      Richard1 ,

      Computer science graduates have the worst employment record of any main stream degree according to University Bursars .

      The average pay package of an I.T. professional in greater london is lower than the starting package of a Met Police Constable .

      I’m not asking for sympathy , just trying to bring the facts to your attention .

      If one of your relatives or friends offspring tells you they are going into I.T. you might expect them to be OK but the chances are high that they will just be unemployed and competing with everyone else for a driving job .

      • Richard1
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

        It was software engineers I was referring to not IT professionals. I can understand its tough in IT support jobs

        • forthurst
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:34 am | Permalink

          What are you talking about?

        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:42 am | Permalink


          What on earth are you talking about software engineers are IT professionals.


          If you are struggling to hire then you are either rubbish at recruitment or paying rubbish amounts.

          How on earth people like you get your ideas is beyond me.

          • Richard1
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:12 pm | Permalink

            You are a charming fellow. I think we are talking about different things.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:42 pm | Permalink

            I am charming your sarcasim does you no favours.

            You clearly know little about the business you are making wilk comments about.

            We are not talking about different things, you just have a limited perspective based on limited understanding and false information.

            Your nonsense definition of software engineering versus IT professionals is ill informed but more importantly there are no lack of skills in this country in any part of the skills spectrum.

            I suggest you listen to people who know what they are talking about in future.

        • A different Simon
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 12:13 pm | Permalink

          Richard1 ,

          I’ve been in software development for 22 years both inhouse and for software houses writing programs for Lloyd’s of London syndicates and designing databases for International liner shipping companies .

          There were some shortages in the 1990’s but not since and rates for self employed software developers and systems administrators in 2012 are often less than half what they were in 1999 .

          I am aware of shortages of Software Engineers at both junior and senior level in Israel and know two software integrators who moved to Australia due to shortages of skilled people .

          Even Whitehall now acknowledge that there is not a shortage of software engineers in the UK . It is not on the official skills shortage list that Iain Gill mentions .

          The only software jobs which are on the official skills shortage list are those related to graphics for the film industry and computer games .

          Are you trying to recruit software engineers at the moment ? If so what are the specifics of your requirements which mean you cannot find suitable people in the UK ?

          • Richard1
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 6:40 am | Permalink

            That could be the answer. My post was based on evidence form 2 companies, both in the games area.

          • Iain Gill
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:53 am | Permalink

            Re “That could be the answer. My post was based on evidence form 2 companies, both in the games area.” I know plenty of folk in the games software business. I know first hand there is no skills shortage there.

            I am afraid you are badly informed.

          • A different Simon
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:43 pm | Permalink

            Iain Gill , Richard1 ,

            I know nothing about games software development other than as a skill it was on the official skills shortage last last time I checked about 12 months ago .

            So long as the games industry only brings in the creme from overseas and junior staff from the UK get a chance then things should be OK . The cream in any field is very small , in the tens or hundreds , not thousands .

            I know that in business software we used to achieve very high productivity with small teams using fourth generation languages (4GL’s) (such as Powerhouse from Cognos who had offices next to the station in Bracknell ) .

            With such small teams and high productivity offshoring would have been madness .

            These days the platforms the programs run on are very different and development languages seem to deliver lower productivity . Consequently it takes far larger teams to achieve the same amount .

            They all need to be managed and communicate with each other so management overheads increase .

            This inefficiency is probably one of the reasons offshoring took off .

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:51 pm | Permalink

      Fee paying international students are ok as long as they are genuine otherwise it becomes anther facilitation route. This is why students must be interviewed by immigration officers and not selected by extremely partial and self interested colleges/universities…..


    • Mark
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 11:08 pm | Permalink

      The fees paid by international students do not on average cover their costs. EU students are required by the EU to be offered loans for their fees and fee levels on the same level as UK students (i.e. free in Scotland, and no more than £9,000 in England etc.). Experience to date shows that a significant proportion of EU graduates are not repaying their loans after leaving the UK, leaving taxpayers to pick up the bill.

      Even when you examine what happens to non-EU students, the numbers are little better. In 2011 there were 298,000 non-EU students in residence at HESA recognised institutions, paying a total of £2.94bn in fees – or just under £10,000 each. That is still a subsidised level, with the balance financed out of the university block grant. By taking on (part time) work at menial jobs they are keeping UK citizens unemployed, costing us benefits payments as taxpayers. They also require resources for housing etc.

      Foreign students are good news for keeping academics employed, but at the present level of numbers and average fees, they are probably a disbenefit to the economy. We should return to the numbers that prevailed in the early 1990s and before – about 50,000 admissions per year of high calibre students, nearly all of whom returned home at the end of their courses.

      The numbers who were students prior to emigrating averaged just 60,000 in the Labour years according to the ONS, despite the expansion of student immigrants to almost 250,000 per year. Some of those 60,000 will have been British citizens emigrating after their degree, meaning that even fewer immigrant students left at the end of their courses.

    • Winston Smith
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:56 am | Permalink

      You are also wrong on foreign students. Their fees do not cover the full cost of providing their education and repaying the capital investment in creating the universities and infrastructure, let alone the cost of the services and resources they consume outside of university. American colleges charge far higher fees.

  10. alan jutson
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:16 pm | Permalink

    So a 10% reduction after two years in office.

    Not much to brag about really is it !

    Another 1,000,000 to be let in during the five years of this government then, given that we are told 90% of jobs go to immigrants that is over 1,000,000 million new jobs need to be created, which will only reduce our present unemployed people by 100,000 if past performance is to be used.

    What if we do not create 1,000,000 new Private sector jobs in the next 5 years ?.

    • lifelogic
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

      Private sector jobs will only come if they start firing some in the state sector and very quickly indeed.

      • zorro
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:54 pm | Permalink

        This will not happen as people are not employed by the state because of their ability at undertaking the required employment. There are other considerations…..


      • Bazman
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:06 am | Permalink

        No evidence to support this. It’s another one of your fantasies.

        • Winston Smith
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:57 am | Permalink

          You need to cut State spending to reduce taxes to allow the priavte sector to grow. A bit beyond your intellect, I know.

          • Bazman
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:38 pm | Permalink

            Reducing taxes causes the private sector to grow. Where is your evidence for this? Can cause a downward spiral. I know this is against your right wing financial fantasies but this seems to be what has happened so far.

          • uanime5
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:53 pm | Permalink

            Given that firing hundreds of thousands of public sector workers didn’t create the predicted millions of jobs in the private sector it’s clear the cutting the public sector doesn’t help the private sector.

            Indeed cutting the public sector more often harms the private sector because there are fewer people who can afford to use the private sector.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 2:42 pm | Permalink

            Uanime5 – We were discussing this at the pub the other evening.

            Some 52% of workers are employed directly by the state ?

            The private sector is largely dedicated to servicing those public sector workers: restaurants, hairdressers, car repairs, transport (my own ‘industry’)…

            It’s difficult to work out how much economic activity is state funded but I’d imagine that those engaged in ‘private sector’ employment are being paid indirectly from the tax merry-go-round for a fair proportion of their working day too.

            52% of work done in the UK paid for from tax … and then the rest.

            ReplyNo, nothing like 52% of workers are employed by the state. The state accounts for around half of GDP, but a lot of that is taking money off workers to give to people on pensions and benefits.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 7:04 pm | Permalink

            I stand corrected, Mr Redwood. Thank you.

            However, the private sector is funded more by taxation than we seem to estimate – in fact I’ve never heard anyone try to estimate.

            Builders renovating teachers’ houses, photographers photographing policemen’s weddings, train drivers taking civil servants to work …

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

      Councils really seem to think that chain coffee shops make the town upmarket and they are everywhere like a rash .

      Has anyone found a coffee shop chain which employs principally (UK citizens-ed) ?

      Isn’t it the case that coffee shop chains , fast food outlets and hotels employ almost exclusively foreign labour ? I am of the opinion that (UK citizens) would like to do those jobs and are being discriminated against .

      • zorro
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:12 pm | Permalink

        You have a point. It is certainly the case that thre are a very ugh proporion of (non UK citizens -ed) working in coffee bars in Windsor, Slough, and Reading…….However, in the North, there are still young English people working in coffee bars.


        • zorro
          Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:10 pm | Permalink

          Sorry my spell check went odd on my new iPad!


      • A different Simon
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:13 pm | Permalink

        Mr/Madame Editor ,

        Could you please tell us what is wrong with the term “Britons” ?

        Why did you change it to “UK Citizens” ?

        Thanks in anticipation .

        • APL
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 6:05 pm | Permalink

          Britons are persona non grata in this country thanks to the Political class.

        • uanime5
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:56 pm | Permalink

          British = English, Scottish, and Welsh.
          UK Citizen = British and Northern Irish.

          So UK citizen is more accurate.

          • Mark
            Posted September 5, 2012 at 3:41 pm | Permalink

            According to the OED:


            1 relating to Great Britain or the United Kingdom, or to its people or language.

            2 of the British Commonwealth or (formerly) the British Empire.

            (as plural noun the British)

            the British people.

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:09 pm | Permalink

      Remember that they have realised that they will need to concrete over more of the green belt to make room for new arrivals….It is true that there are some reductions, though whether sustainable in the longer term is open to question. What is clear is that inward migration is still close to 550-600,000 per annum and it is not clear who is leaving.


      • Vanessa
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

        Get ready for more floods! The more we concrete over land the less drainage for all the rain we are getting. Oh, global warming is getting so bad !!!

      • Winston Smith
        Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:04 am | Permalink

        They won’t release any details. Even if they did any analysis because it would show we are losing the ambitious, aspiring young and hard working young families. I know at least 5 people who became fed up with England and now run sucessful businesses in Australia, East Asia and Canada. Just look today, the EU is to impose 40% minimum gender quotas on company boards. Europe is only going in one direction: down the pan.

        • lifelogic
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:18 pm | Permalink

          It does not seem very sensible to force boards by law not to select the best candidates on pure ability but to do it on gender/disability quotas and the like. A recent German study showed the women on the board tended to be correlated with under performance (even reported on the BBC ). Perhaps because the boards are more concerned with political trivia (like how many woman are on the board and similar) than with business profits and return on capital.

          BBC is of course obsessed with the lack of woman in the Cameron reshuffle. I am more concerned by the lack of talent and common sense around.

          • Electro-Kevin
            Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:01 pm | Permalink

            The Tories are the only party to have put a woman in power and the Left hate them for it.

            The heavily agenderised Radio 4 today (Woman’s Hour) “… the rampant materialism of the Thatcher years.”

            Nothing. NOTHING compared to that of the Blair/Brown years.

          • lifelogic
            Posted September 7, 2012 at 7:44 pm | Permalink


        • A different Simon
          Posted September 5, 2012 at 11:56 pm | Permalink

          So the EU think it is OK to discriminate against men ?

          As you say , it’s only going one way .

          Things have to get worse before they get better and they are going to get much , much worse .

  11. merlin
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:33 pm | Permalink

    Immigration from the EU is unlimited since we have been signed up to various treaties which the average person in this country does not even understand. By the way I just discovered that under John Major we all became citizens of the EU (1993), including the Queen and I naively thought that we lived in a contitutional democratic monarchy. The immigration from non EU countries is, I asssume, the figures that Damian Green is presenting maybe too little too late. My stance on immigration has always been that we are already an overcrowded island and living space is limited compared to other countries. I am not against immigration but it definitely should be controlled, always remember that the previous labour government had an open door immigration policy and look at the major problems this has caused local services.

    • Iain Gill
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:43 pm | Permalink

      dont forget the EU/India supposed “free trade” (its nothing of the sort) treaty which will force us to offer ever more visas to Indian nationals

      • zorro
        Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:17 pm | Permalink

        You will find that people in that category and ICT are excluded from any ‘cap’…


        • Iain Gill
          Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:43 am | Permalink

          Indeed and after a few years they get indefinite leave to remain and are not counted in the statistics.

    • A different Simon
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:59 pm | Permalink

      Damian Green is continuing John Majors good work .

      That is why they gave him the job .

      He does not seem to be concerned that the type of British Citizens leaving the country are those we really need to pull ourselves out of this hole .

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:15 pm | Permalink

      Courtesy of a treaty called Maastricht…..


  12. stred
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:46 pm | Permalink

    Speaking to a tenant, who I trust and is Spanish, he told me that the UK must do something about European immigration “or everyone will be here”. He is a restuarant manager. I have had a request from anothe Spanish restaurant manager to find accommodation for her sister and nephew, who are arriving soon and also in the business. In Spain, the situation is so bad that many previously successful businesses are closing. They are trying here because the situation is seen as better, and their relations are trying to help.

    On the ferry to France, I managed to get into the lorry drivers restuarant for one of their better breakfasts as it was empty. I picked up a free newspaper in Romanian for Romanians coming to and living in the UK. There were full details of accommodation, lonely hearts ads, and best of all, an attractive young lady wearing only hotpants and holding an advert for best prices for scrap metals, including copper and lead.

    No changes expected in this case presumably. At least squatting is now illegal.

  13. Iain Gill
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 5:59 pm | Permalink

    great interview on LBC John…

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

      What subjects were mentioned during John’s interview?


  14. The PrangWizard
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:20 pm | Permalink

    Some people will never be satisfied. The figures are being turned round and we should be pleased about that after years of complaining that ‘something must be done’. Well, something IS being done.
    And on the subject of entry into the country, may I refer all of you reasonable people to the UK Borders Bill 2012. It received its First Reading in the Commons on 11th July this year with the Second Reading due to take place on 25th January 2013. It was proposed by Andrew Rosindell and is supported along with others by Mr Redwood. Read Mr Rosindell’s speech. Please note something else is being done for the country and our national identity. Lets hope it goes through, it darned well ought to. Do what you can to get support for it.

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:31 pm | Permalink

      A Private Members Bill which has no chance of passing into law – there is no way Cast Elastic will support this bill……


  15. Bob
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 6:37 pm | Permalink

    The UK is a high tax environment with very generous benefits system, which tends to repel productive people and attracts spongers.

    This is why the economy is stagnating.

    Reversing these incentives is what is required to “kick-start” the economy.

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:25 pm | Permalink

      If these issues we often mention were tackled, they would help regulate the flow of inward migration just as effectively as any measures introduced by Mr Green.


    • Bazman
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:48 am | Permalink

      Hasn’t repelled East Europeans. Wonder why Bob? Are they all scroungers?

  16. frank salmon
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:19 pm | Permalink

    Lies and damned lies.
    1) The damage has already been done
    2) The door has closed after the horse has bolted
    3) Where are the stats on illegal immigration and asylum?
    4) Is it really right to judge success by a lowering of immigration trends rather than a reversal?
    5) Why not just look at positive policies toward immigration – ie, you get get in if you can make a long term contribution to the economy. Y
    Aussies do it.

    Why can’t we?

    It’s good, but I can only give it an A*
    (Or C – minus in old money)

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:16 pm | Permalink

      Asylum figures are on a slight upward trend based on the last quarter figures, and removals (port/enforcement) are down compared to previous years. There are a number of reasons for this.


  17. Jack
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 7:32 pm | Permalink

    People aren’t worried about future immigration. They’re worried about those already here.

    ( words left out as I thought they could be misconstrued and seemed contradictory-ed)
    It is simply not acceptable to wring our hands over the unemployment and jobs numbers, furrow our brow over the shortage of houses, public services and welfare bills while ignoring the hundreds of thousands of foreigners who are net burdens on the British ledger.

    Why is this still taboo to those elected to represent us?

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:19 pm | Permalink

      The reason being that there has been no real effort at having a ‘audit’/cost benefit analysis of immigration over the years based on actual cost and future costs. There is also a good reason why this has not been done……..


  18. Jon burgess
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:02 pm | Permalink

    According to the Home Office website there were 165,000 EU migrants into the UK in the 12 months up to March 2012 – down from 185,000 in the previous 12 months. Shame that the UK has no power to limit this number, eh Mr Redwood, as this would have the most impact. But we can’t mention that, can we?

    • zorro
      Posted September 3, 2012 at 8:22 pm | Permalink

      Even MigrationWatch are quite quiet on EU migration stating that it will even out over time….somehow. That is a reasonable position but only if you clamp down ferociously on non EEA migration…..and that might not always be a sensible option depending on the skills that are required.


  19. sm
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:24 pm | Permalink

    A further net 216,000 is not progress, it should be exponentially lower, this is still a grave policy error which will not help us economically or allow us to become a more sustainable nation. It puts a coach and horse through all the saving CO2 savings and efficiencies.

    In fact arguably it adds a net burden if the net effect is we push current residents out of work and further stretch public resources to maintain an increased population.

    Indeed i suspect GDP per capita falls. I rather suspect that in general those that leave export capital, and skills much wanted abroad. I rather suspect the inward migrants are younger and have less capital and compete at the lower end of the labour market. Some i am sure are here entirely for benefits grants whatever it is called.

    Funny how immigration hasn’t brought down the pay of 1% the CEO’s or elite bankers. it hasnt forced public sector pay down or senior civil servants paydown.

    If pay was linked to performance and objective outputs how much would MP’s collectively deserve?

    The macro position in Europe is probably multiplying the problem for the UK. Why not just close the borders. Where can we escape to? or do we have pretend to emigrate, destroy our papers and return under a nom de plume as a penniless asylum seeker and pass go and collect.

    How can you know that these people are penniless when they have made the UK the number one destination from half way round the world. Its harsh but simple : zero benefits with a repatriation grant paid to those who fess up and when they have returned to the originating country.

    Also get on with country by country reporting to enable countries to tax profits in their own countries accurately.

    Where on earth will they all be housed etc? What is wrong with government , it is clearly insanity repeated.

  20. Caterpillar
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 9:33 pm | Permalink

    Was Mr Green’s letter due to be sent out at this time, or is it more than coincidence that it was circulated pre-shuffle?

    I don’t how to unpack the data for the following reasons:-

    (i) Some slight restrengthening of GBP may have allowed some to emigrate who delayed on the initial Govt-BoE destruction of the GBP policy. (So we need to see out- and in-flow separated).
    (ii) Some countries view net migration as a desirability index, so seeing it go down (particularly if EU net migration has also fallen) might not be a good sign.
    (iii) A raw percentage on student visas looks like damage to a sector. How much is truly dodgy colleges and how much is collateral damage?

  21. Lindsay McDougall
    Posted September 3, 2012 at 10:17 pm | Permalink

    Why can’t you politicians deliver us the immigration policy that we want? (1) Zero polulation growth and (2) The proportion of ( word left out-ed) indigenous people increasing, or at the very least not declining. If that leads to skill shortages, then the people must be better educatated and better trained so that the gap is closed.

    • Lindsay McDougall
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:04 am | Permalink

      My perfectly simple comment is still awaiting moderation. It is clear that freedom of speech has taken a massive step backwards since 1968. Vast tracts of Enoch Powell’s two immigration speeches of 1968 (Birmingham and Eastbourne) are obviously considered by your editor to be against the law.

  22. Alan Wheatley
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 7:48 am | Permalink

    I find this debate mired by an incompetent use of language. It has been so for a long time.

    My dictionary defines IMMIGRATE as “to come to a place or country of which one is not a native in order to settle there”.

    And an IMMIGRANT as ” a person who has been settled in a country of which he is not a native for at least ten years”.

    So IMMIGRATION is about where you live. Some immigrants may become citizens of their adopted country.

    IMMIGRATION has nothing to do with students, those who come to work for a period and will leave when that work ends, and those who come for a short, limited time to visit family members.

    Those who come to this country for a limited period, such a students, will have hardly any effect on the total resident population as those coming will be matched by those leaving.

    There are two key issues for the UK citizen: how many people do we want in our country and who should those people be? Get the language right and lets have a proper debate.

    • Mark
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:08 pm | Permalink

      The problem seems to be that we can only find evidence that about a quarter of students leave at the end of their courses, and we know that at least 20% manage to change status and stay. So yes, we need to count those students on the way in, because they no longer tend to leave.

  23. Electro-Kevin
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

    As a whole we are neither a small minded nor an anti-immigration people and nowhere else on earth would have demonstrated the levels of tolerance that the British people have displayed. We are never given credit for this.

    It is vitally important that these numbers are brought down.

    It is also vitally important that the people and the social fabric of our country is protected from criminals and those who have no intention of pulling their weight or integrating.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:09 am | Permalink

      In truth I think we’ve had it.

      This blog is dedicated to the economy but the fundamental driver for any economy is that you get to keep what you earn. That means good law and order and not having one’s pension stolen so that the State can – among other things – bribe potential burglars not to raid one’s house.

      I think we’ve lost on the economy. The reinstatement of good law and order is about the only thing that can save us a few generations hence. This means vetting those who come here and kicking out those who break our laws.

  24. David
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 8:21 am | Permalink


    The problem isn’t just numbers but also quality.
    I know two (people-ed) one has gone back (home-ed) one has stayed here. Some people would say that this is good as we have slightly lower
    net immigration. The problem is that the one who went back worked and received zero benefits (as a single person without children … never received any help from the Government).
    The (person-ed) (a bogus refugee) who stayed is a professional single mum and gets a fortune from the Government.

    What we should do is say that immigrants can’t get benefits for the first 5 years they live here so we get less (benefit hunters-ed) coming and reduce the vast sums
    pro single mums get. (They are not of course vast compared to an MPs salary but they are for many workers).

    That way we would improve the quality a lot.

    One other thing we should do is stop people like (the person-ed) who get asylum
    here from coming back home on holiday. (people from various countries-ed) who get asylum in the US cannot go home on holiday – which makes sense.


  25. Winston Smith
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 9:10 am | Permalink

    1 Jan 2014 – all restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians to come to the UK to must be scrapped. Welcome the next wave of mass cheap labour. (many are likely to come-ed) Perhaps Slough will overflow and they will head to Wokingham.

  26. Neil Craig
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 10:12 am | Permalink

    As a general rule when somebnody gives you the percentage figures, ask for the numbers, and when they give the numbers ask for percentages.

  27. Roy Grainger
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 11:45 am | Permalink

    Having a target of reducing net migration is absurd. For example, putting the top rate of income tax up to 98% would achieve a reduction in net migration as more people leave the country.

  28. James Reade
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 11:52 am | Permalink

    Wow. A “success” is that student visas are down 30%. One of our most successful exports, our higher education, has 30% fewer sales, and that’s a “success”?

    And, more importantly, how much of the reduction in immigration is due to the lousy economy here in the UK, rather than the government’s policies? Of course we don’t know that, and you can believe all you like that it’s all down to the new Tory policies, but I’m sceptical. At the margin, fewer people will seek to move to a country in the midst of a double dip recession, that hasn’t yet recovered to 2008 output levels…

    • Mark
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:07 pm | Permalink

      The economics of the large numbers of “students” do not look good. Perhaps you should check the facts.

      • James Reade
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:00 am | Permalink

        Go on, indulge me. Someone confident in the “facts” would put up a link to them.

        I’m glad you have such wonderful, big brother like knowledge over the system that you just know all these students are bogus.

        I personally teach over 400 of them each year. They turn up, they are keen to learn, and often more keen than the British students I also have to teach.

        I am awaiting these facts you have in store for me though.

    • Electro-Kevin
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 2:50 pm | Permalink

      James – Do not forget to deduct the very real cost of bogus students to the UK from those sales.

      It matters not that our economy is ‘lousy’ so long as it’s not as lousy as the one the emigree has left. My guess is that some of the measures have worked.

      To quote someone else on the economy:

      The labour party (and supporters) are like arsonists who return to the scene to throw bricks at the fire brigade.

      13 years in power and they’ve wrecked us – beyond recovery in my view. I really don’t know how they have the front to comment.

      • James Reade
        Posted September 14, 2012 at 8:02 am | Permalink

        Ok, let’s keep politics out of this. Labour hasn’t wrecked the country, and more than the Coalition is doing now, and the Tories did between 1979 and 1997. It’s all a matter of opinion, and those who try and detach themselves a little from the childish game of politics are able to recognise that actually, govts of all stripes do good things and bad things.

        But back to the issue of bogus students. I doubt all 30% were bogus. I don’t doubt some were, but I doubt 30% of all overseas students buying our education were bogus. They have to pay massive fees after all – what kind of a strategy would that be for getting into the country?

        I’m sorry, but you need to stop believing everything you read in the Daily Mail.

  29. Muddyman
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:33 pm | Permalink

    As we do not accurately count the incomers, nor count the leavers, how on earth can we rely on any of the guesstimates given by government.

  30. Barbara Stevens
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 1:57 pm | Permalink

    The truth is Mr R, people here are now so used to lies and more lies from ministers, they no longer believe anything you tell them. What they do believe is what they see with their own eyes. No country can sustain the level of immigration we have done, and no taxpayers can keep stumping up more to keep them as they increase daily. What your government should have done is close the doors totally, until we have our house in order, including the EU countries and ignored the EU. In these situations we need brave, and people with guts, who will work for the people’s of these islands and direct things for us and our favour, not some distant treaty like Maastrict, which we collectively did not have the choice over. No goverenment will succeed where such ignorance of democracy keeps being allowed to happen. We have asked for a referendum and been ignored, this cannot carry on much longer, or your party will pay the price. Immigration will, again, be at the forfront of politics come the next election as before, this nation will not be ignored continually, or they will, enmasse vote UKIP.

    • Max Dunbar
      Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:42 pm | Permalink

      If you would like to do something about it expect to lose your job, be branded a racist, shed a few “friends”, make life difficult for your family and possibly do some porridge.

  31. forthurst
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 2:01 pm | Permalink

    “One of our most successful exports, our higher education”

    Presumably that also means ‘most profitable’?

    “At the margin, fewer people will seek to move to a country in the midst of a double dip recession”

    A heard that that the FT was a must read in the wilds of Waziristan.

    • forthurst
      Posted September 4, 2012 at 5:01 pm | Permalink

      …in response to James Reade’s philippic

  32. Mark
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:03 pm | Permalink

    I see Mark Harper, who failed to orchestrate a suitable compromise on the Lords reforms or secure the constituency boundary changes, is now in charge of immigration. His background includes being an employee of KPMG and of Intel, so he will be sympathetic to multinational companies seeking to bring in staff. Otherwise, he is a PPE graduate of BNC, and a CA.

    Let’s hope it means he has enough numbers and managerial skills to sort out the immigration mess.

  33. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 3:36 pm | Permalink

    I admire Mr Green’s bravado in claiming that he is implementing ‘tough’ immigration policies. As always with the coalition, the ministers believe what they say and how they present a policy is more important than actions taken.

    It’s taken the department 2 whole years to reduce net immigration by a very modest 15%.

    To reach David Cameron’s target of bringing the net migration below 100,000 he’s going to have to cut the numbers by atleast another 30% per year on average. I suspect Mr Green has just picked the low hanging fruit and that little further progress will be made.

  34. David Langley
    Posted September 4, 2012 at 4:55 pm | Permalink

    Its too late now, the milk has been spilt. I noticed in the media that troops going out in East London after doing Olympics duties were being assaulted and abused by local youths. I understand that these were from backgrounds that resent our being in Afghanistan and Asia and middle east generally. (etc etc) I would like to get the troops out too, but I support their being loyal to the donkeys.

  35. Max Dunbar
    Posted September 5, 2012 at 8:38 pm | Permalink

    I’m certain that Mr Redwood agrees with much of what has been said by his correspondents here but unfortunately he cannot do anything about it. The game is over. Sorry to sound so pessimistic but we have been rotted and betrayed by the very people who were elected to protect us in the first place.

  36. Steven Whitfield
    Posted September 6, 2012 at 8:13 am | Permalink

    The problem seems to be that the issue isn’t taken seriously enough. The politicians do not ‘get it’ on the whole.

    What’s needed is a judge led enquiry looking at the sustainability of long term mass immigration. Nobody has a clue what impact a population of 70, 80 or 90 million will have on our standard of living.

    Detailed assesments need to be made on the impacts on ethnic diversity, land availability and useage, water provision , jobs, pensions and the affordability of pensions and the NHS.

    I suspect the findings will make pretty sobering reading…then maybe Mr Green and his mandarins will finally get off their bottoms and take the ‘tough’ action that is really needed.

    Perhaps MR Redwood would consider publically calling for this long overdue review – I can’t think of a more effective way he could serve his country by voicing the growing concern of the silent majority.

  37. six sigma
    Posted December 26, 2012 at 12:05 pm | Permalink

    I’m amazed, I have to admit. Rarely do I come across a blog that’s both educative and entertaining, and
    let me tell you, you’ve hit the nail on the head. The problem is something that too few people are speaking intelligently about. I’m
    very happy that I found this during my hunt for something relating to this.

  • About John Redwood

    John Redwood won a free place at Kent College, Canterbury, and graduated from Magdalen College Oxford. He is a Distinguished fellow of All Souls, Oxford. A businessman by background, he has set up an investment management business, was both executive and non executive chairman of a quoted industrial PLC, and chaired a manufacturing company with factories in Birmingham, Chicago, India and China. He is the MP for Wokingham, first elected in 1987.

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