Wednesday, 31 March 2010

Has Gordon Brown got the figures wrong again?

The following comes from

Gordon Brown gave a speech on immigration today and 'Fact Check' checked it out.

An extract;

The claim
“Some people talk as if net inward migration is rising. In fact, it is falling – down from 237,000 in 2007, to 163,000 in 2008, to provisional figures of 147,000 last year.”
Gordon Brown, podcast on immigration, 26 March, 2010

The analysis
Brown said in a podcast today that net inward migration (the number of people coming to the UK minus the number of people leaving) had fallen. According to the PM, the figures fell from 237,000 in 2007 to 163,000 in 2008 to 147,000 last year.

But he was drawing his numbers from two different sets of statistics.

The first two figures are the confirmed long-term international migration figures for 2007 and 2008 (although incidentally, he appears to have slipped with the first number – the published National Statistics figure is actually 233,000). We don’t yet have a comparable figure for 2009.

So Brown instead took a figure from the International Passenger Survey (IPS). This is used to compile the long-term international migration figures – but it tends to be smaller because it excludes asylum seekers and people who overstay their original visas.

If the prime minister wanted to be accurate he should have compared the 2009 IPS figure to the 2007/8 IPS figures. They are 219,000 (year ended Dec 2007), 129,000 (year ended Dec 2008), 147,000 (year ended June 2009).

The sharp-eyed amongst you will see that there’s another reason to be cautious. The 2009 figure he quotes relates to the year up to June 2009. The 2007 and 2008 figures are for the year ending December.

Read the whole article and see what you think.

Doesn't Gordon Brown check what he is saying, or does he purposely manipulate the figures, or does he think the British public are stupid?

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