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Tuesday, June 19, 2007 

The economics of omission.

In common with the previous report from the National Audit Office that immigration is in fact not destroying the country, overwhelming public services or undermining wages, a new report from the TUC, the economics of migration (PDF), has come to similar conclusions:

Contrary to far right accusations that immigrants are a drain on the welfare state, TUC research shows that migrant workers are paying more in taxes than the value of the public services they receive. Across the economy the arrival of migrant workers has not depressed jobs or wages, and although there is limited evidence of some local effect on wages and employment for low-skilled workers, so far low-skilled workers have not lost out thanks to the vibrant economy.

The report doesn't pretend that everything is fine though, as none of us should. It argues that workers, both indigenous and from abroad are still far too easily exploitated, something that Jon Cruddas has been unafraid to tackle during his deputy prime minister campaign. It also rightly points out that the extra prosperity and tax revenues which migrants are contributing to should be focused on ensuring that local areas which have experienced an influx of foreign workers are able to cope, nipping any potential tensions that could arise between communities as a result in the bud.

Seeing as the report is challenging the image which the right-wing tabloids have repeatedly tried to paint of migration, it's instructive to note that neither the Sun or the Express found the space to cover the TUC's findings in any form. The Daily Mail does have a report up on its site, but it's not bylined, and the comment section is also missing. Then again, they don't want their readers' to think that their favourite rag has got it wrong, do they?

Update: The Express did in fact report on it, as FCC points out in the comments, although it seems to have entirely lifted the report from the TUC's press release. Not sure why it didn't come up in the search when I searched for both TUC and Trades Union Congress, but never mind. Apologies.

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It was a bit of a blink and you'll miss it affair - but the Express did cover this in 'Migrant workers "boosting economy"' at http://www.express.co.uk/posts/view/10412/Migrant+workers+'boosting+economy'

It's treated a bit differently from reports the Express likes though. Check out how often it's affirmed that the 'TUC said'.

It doesn't show up when you search for 'TUC' though.

Thanks for pointing that out. The comments are remarkably ostrich like, which I suppose is nothing unusual for the Express. Why on earth would the TUC not stand up for its own members if there was any substantial proof that migrants had made wages plummet?

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