How many immigrants would satisfy the OBR?

17 July 2013

According to the Office for Budget Responsibility (OBR) Britain must bring millions more immigrants into the UK to sustain our ageing population.

As the Telegraph reports it, the OBR study has found:

‘…. that allowing more than 140,000 immigrants into Britain a year, equivalent to 6million people, would help increase the overall number of people who are in work and improve public finances.’

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The trouble with the OBR – like so many official and unofficial bodies – is that it views immigration solely as an issue of economics. And this despite the fact that the leaders of both the Conservative and Labour parties have conceded that immigration on the scale of recent years was not only wrong but is societally unsustainable.

But even more striking is the OBR’s claim that mass immigration is necessary to sustain an ageing population. To sustain this belief you must either believe that this whole new generation of immigrants is going to come to Britain, work here and then return to their countries of origin. Or the OBR has overlooked the fate of all mankind.

For if these new immigrants do indeed come and stay then they will – sad to say – grow old like the rest of us. Which means that in the following decade we will need even more people to prop up the increasingly ageing population that we imported during the previous one. And so on and so on. Perhaps the OBR could tell us how many people they envisage eventually coming into this country?

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Show comments
  • tomfrom66

    The cultural and educational factors militating against the unemployment of our own young people also remain off the agenda.

  • bwims

    The office of idiotic budgetary irresponsibility

  • thanksdellingpole

    Vote BNP.

  • Drakken

    Welcome to the new Balkans, this only ends one way.

  • Shoe On Head

    not mass but smart. do we have ideas around smart immigration?

    in the long run it’s all to do with economics. the key policy question is london; its role in the 21st century as the world’s economic centre of gravity moves east. its fight for global talent (specific entrepreneurial – immigrants always make better entrepreneurs – silicon valley). and finally, if london decides to become an independent city state to compete on the world stage.

    history has shown smart people always prefer open societies.

    note: global interaction is exploding and rolling across the planet like an economic tsunami.

    (shoe on head)

  • Trofim

    I think immigrants are very useful. They even do our arson for us without us having to lift a finger! The irony of this is delicious – the most heinous crime on earth – being nasty to Muslims, committed by the liberal elite’s favourite members of the community – immigrants. How are lefty minds copng with this?

  • Martin Jennerson

    “For if these new immigrants do indeed come and stay then they will – sad
    to say – grow old like the rest of us. Which means that in the
    following decade we will need even more people to prop up the
    increasingly ageing population that we imported during the previous one.
    And so on and so on.”

    Presumably the idea is that the new migrants will have children – a completely new ethnicity will be born

  • Nick

    The office for budget responsibility,Liberty and Human rights watch are just quangos that do f all good for anybody or anything.
    Can someone please tell me,how do I get a job with the OBR? How much do they get paid?
    The west moans about corrupt governments and authorities around the world but look at the wasters and jobs for the boys that we have here in the UK.
    What a bloody mess our political system is in.

  • Mos bos

    Everybody knows that this is obvious scam, just like the so called ‘skills shortages’ myth is used to secure more and more visas for Indians. We are done over by our puppet governments, simples!

  • DonnaTxx

    It’s the same old propaganda being spun again.

    We were told in the Labour years that we desperately needed immigration to pay pensions and boost the economy. After over a decade of unprecendented immigration you’d expect our economy to be booming?

    It shows sheer contempt for us, to use exactly the same lies again.

  • global city

    The only time when commentators and their fellow riders who support unlimited immigration and job competition and cultural change is when it is their jobs and positions that are being given to cheaper, funkier immigrants, rather than tired old white professionals, especially in the ‘creative industries and the arts’.

  • C. Gee

    There can never be enough immigrants to satisfy the welfare state’s Ponzi scheme.

  • tolpuddle1

    If only people like the OBR had been shot down in, say, 2000 ! Then we wouldn’t have to live with the consequences of hyper-immigration.

  • Pootles

    Perhaps the OBR were thinking in old style German terms? You know, ‘Come to Work in Germany, for the New Europe’. And when you’re too old to work, then you will, if you’re lucky, be deported back home. Oh, and while you’re here, you’ll have to be sterilised. And not get ill. If only we could have less idiocy from public policy types, and a bigger effort to get the nearly 3 million unemploymed into work.

  • andy_gill

    What about the economic costs of imported terrorism, let alone the incalculable costs in human life?

  • Bahamas97x

    The OBR ‘analysis’ is stupid.
    As has long been pointed out by the likes of MigrationWatch, the problem with this argument is that these migrants will also themselves one day be old and/or ill.
    Therefore we will require even more immigrants to pay for those earlier immigrants.
    This is nothing but a treadmill for national destruction.

  • allymax bruce

    Douglas Murray is right; the OBR premise is self-defeating, to an exponentially grave outcome. The truth is, Westminster are fooling us with lies, to maintain their class-system; they need to import immigrants, to keep indigenous unemployed as criminalised fodder, so the middle class can pay across a wide/high tax base of which, sustains the upper class in their fake non-job jobs.
    Immigrants only function the Westminster class system.

    • Count Dooku

      I’d like some of what you’re smoking Spongebob.

      • allymax bruce

        Ha! you’re funny.
        Sorry, Count Dooku, I don’t smoke anything; not even cigarettes. I just don’t do any drugs at all; a few beers though. I missed the whole drug scene; I was too busy at nightschool.

  • OldLb

    Average goverment spend per person – 12,066 pounds a year.

    It only makes sense if migrants pay more than 12K a year in tax for every migrant, dependent included.

    That excludes their share of the pensions debts. Those are rising at 11,650 pounds a year on top of the spending .(ONS figures).

    The Office for budget responsibility needs to be a bit more responsible.

  • pigou_a

    Could you provide any evidence to support your assertions about the costs and benefits to migration? It’s not hard, try using Google.

    It’s almost as if you actually believe the nonsense written by the press.

    Just out of curiosity what proportion of the UK population do you believe was foreign born?

    A few issues you might want to consider:

    Surveys of opinion on migration typically find that whilst people are concerned about migration at a national level, very few people are concerned with migration in their local area. Surveys also find that people living in areas with high migration have a more positive view about it. Whereas old people living in areas with little migration who for years have been peddled lies about migration by antiquated newspapers, are concerned about migration. People under 45 tend not to subscribe to newspapers, thus the population concerned about migration is likely to fall over time as newspapers continue their inevitable decline into obsolescence. Thus despite what the press claims, migration is not an important political issue.

    For evidence of this see Yougov’s latest issues tracker and compare the results for nationally (a.k.a. the nonsense I read in the newspaper) and family (what actually matters to me). 50% of people think immigration is an issue nationally, only 15% think it affects their family. In contrast the equivalent figures for the economy are 64% and 55%.

    The biggest issue with migration is the UK’s diabolically inflexible housing market. However, this affects young and migrant alike. A more sensible response to this would be to ridicule sociopathic Luddites from the CPRE and the National Trust who oppose all attempts to liberalize the housing market in order to protect the value of their multiple homes.

    Alternatively, a more interesting angle would be “Isn’t it ironic that the government will only be able to afford the benefits promised to UKIP supporters (typically elderly and dependent on benefits such as the basic state pension) if the UK can attract lots of highly educated, highly skilled, hard working migrants.”

    • OldLb

      How does getting a migrant in to work in Starbucks – 2K a year paid in taxes, help when the NHS alone costs 2K per person per year?

      • pigou_a

        Right, nice try, you seem to have mistaken an anecdote for evidence.

        • OldLb

          1. Are there migrants working in Starbucks?


          2. What’s average pay at Starbucks?

          4.79 to 7.10 an hour. 191 pounds a year to 1,612.64 a year

          Nice try in thinking there is no evidence.

          Now for the spending.

          UK government spending? 713 bn

          UK population?

          63 million – I’ll let you google that.

          Spending per person, 12,000 a year to the nearest 1000.

          I’ll let you get the calculator out or can you do the maths in your head?

          So how does a migrant paying 191 quid a year help the economy when on average each resident costs 12,000?

          How do they help the economy when having someone on welfare working in that job cuts the welfare bill by at least 12,000 a year?

          Over too you to come up with some factual arguments.

          • pigou_a

            Well there’s two problems with that:

            1) You’ve assumed immigrants work at Starbucks, whereas they work in a similar range of jobs to the rest of the population, hence their average pay is unlikely to be at the minimum wage. For example the city employs lots of highly paid foreigners.

            See Dustmann et al. in The Economic Journal:


            2) In your penultimate paragraph you assume that migrants take jobs that would otherwise be filled by locals, this is a logical mistake known as the lump of labour fallacy. See


            For evidence that migrants increase the welfare of locals see:


            For more evidence about migration to the UK:


            Your beliefs about migration appear to be biased and inconsistent with reality. However, unfortunately I doubt there is any evidence which could affect you beliefs.

            • OldLb

              You’ve missed the point. I’ve not said because some work at Starbucks that all migrants are bad. That’s left wing logic.

              1. Are the migrants working at Starbucks overall a net benefit to the UK? The answer is no. They don’t pay enough tax to cover their share of the NHS. It’s insurance. Its 2K a year per person. If you are paying less tax, then you are screwed.

              2. The city does pay a lot more. They are good migrants. They are the migrants we want and need because they will be paying more than 12K a year in tax, and are then a benefit to the UK.

              I repeat. The workers in Starbuck are not an economic benefit.

              You need to be on 40K plus so the state breaks even in current years. [Ignores the pensions]

              On my beliefs its evidence based. Where your arguments fall down, is that you are saying look, the migrants in the city are good, so all migrants must be good.

              Let me use identical logic to see if you can spot your own falacy.

              Lets take Lee Rigby.

              Lee Rigby was murdered by a muslim terrorist, so all muslims must be terrorists.

              Migrants in the city are good for the UK, so all migrants must be good for the UK.

              Spot the fallacy in your argument

              On your lump of labour argument. I agree with the lump of labour fallacy. More migrants will create a percentage of jobs. Its correct. That is why employment has gone up. Evidence is there. However, you still miss the point. There are people unemployed in London, who are quite capable of working in Starbucks. However, they will not take those jobs because they are competing against migrants. So removed the low skilled migrants, and other people do not subsidise them (you still can’t show that 200 pounds a year in tax doesn’t mean a subsidy), and that people are therefore on the dole as a result.


              Immigrants are younger and better educated than their UK-born counterparts, on average

              (Table 2). The most recent immigrants are better educated still. Around 10% of all migrants

              are in full-time education. Immigrants are over-represented in the very high-skilled and very

              low-skilled occupations.


              So why should the UK accept below average migrants?

              Migration even from the EU is optional (see Cyprus for that).


              Immigrants, on average, are less likely to be in social housing than people born in the UK,

              even when the immigrant is from a developing country. Only immigrants who became UK

              citizens are neither more nor less likely to be in social housing than UK-born individuals.


              So the migrants are so good, and yet still need social housing to the detriment of people on the waiting list?

              We do not need migrants who need social housing.


              There are potential economic benefits associated with migration, especially to fill gaps in the

              UK labour market – where there are shortages of workers, whether high- or low-skilled.

              While there may be costs to particular groups, there is little evidence of an overall negative

              impact on jobs or wages


              So even your links that are readable back up my argument.

              1. There is no shortage of low skilled workers in the UK. 2.51 million available.

              2. High skilled – migration is a good idea for the UK.

              3. There certainly is a cost for certain groups. The poor are disproportionately hit, and hit hard.

              4. The last point is proably accurate. There is little overall negative or positive benefit.

              However that ignores the core point. Migration is an option. By accepting migrants who are below average, we have negated the positive benefits from high skilled high wage migration, and screwed the vulnerable group in society, the poor.

              Note, the LSE ignores the pensions. On top of the 12K a year in tax needed to break even, you need another 12K a year to pay their fair share of the increase in pension debts.

          • simhedges

            Yes, but an immigrant working at Starbucks is likely on average to be young and healthy and not need the NHS very much. They will grow older and get better paid jobs and pay more tax by the time they get dementia and need masses of care.

            • OldLb

              But the NHS is an insurance based scheme.

              By your loigic its OK for them to pay 200 quid a year for health cover.

              How about extendting that to healthy Brits? Allow them to pay less NI because they won’t be using the NHS?

              Ah yes, I think I can guess your answer. We have to force people to pay, because its insurance.

              Should we be charging the elderly more because they have dementia?

              It’s insurance. Everyone should be paying for that insurance.

              We should not be getting people in who consume more than they pay in tax.

              Migrants are optional.

              [Asylum is another issue entirely. We should offer asylum, but since there are only 40,000 with that status is irrelevant compared to the 5.9 million]

              What about all the other common goods such as police, roads?

              We should only accept and allow migrants who pay more in tax than the average spend. Or if you want to get more specific. We accept the Starbucks worker but charge them for all treatment, plus their share of common goods, and no pensions. No social security. No welfare. No social housing. ie. If you are correct and they don’t use the NHS, they don’t need the insurance and they can pay. Nah, doesn’t work does it?

              • simhedges

                You implied that someone working at Starbucks was paying in less (£200) than they cost the NHS (£2,000). I was just pointing out that that may not be the case. The NHS is not funded by insurance (my father is about to cost the NHS thousands and thousands, but pays no NI because he’s retired). It’s paid for by tax. From each according to their ability, to each according to their need.

                You said “How about extending that to healthy Brits? Allow them to pay less NI because they won’t be using the NHS?” – it is extended to healthy Brits who happen to be healthy and in low paid jobs. Those who are health and in higher paid jobs (like me), pay more in tax, because we can afford it. I have no problem with this.

                Do not, btw, take my comments to mean that I am in favour of untrammelled immigration – I’m not. I was just pointing out that your NHS example is somewhat flawed.

                There are, btw, limitations on people who are not British citizens or members of countries with which we have reciprocal arrangements (like EU countries) using the NHS free of charges. I’m a fan of the EU reciprocal arrangements – I once spent 3 weeks in a hospital in Dublin and the Irish health system didn’t charge me a penny.

                • Kate HA

                  Are you nuts? Irish people without private insurance living in Dublin are charged 120 euro per night for a stay in hospital.
                  50 euro for a visit to the GP. It cost YOU nothing because

                  they have an arrangement to claim your costs from the NHS.

                  Health costs in the Republic of Ireland are phenomenal. During my time working there (10 years) all my co

                • simhedges

                  So, what part of my post is nuts then?

                • Kate HA

                  Apologies for the impulsive use of the word ‘nuts’; I reacted – based on personal experience – to: “I’m a fan of the EU reciprocal arrangement … 3 weeks in a hospital in Dublin and the Irish health system didn’t charge me a penny”.

                  That ‘reciprocal arrangement’ is dependent upon your status at the time of requiring treatment i.e. visitor or resident? If the former, the health cover supplied by your country of ‘normal residence’, in your case the UK National Health Service, guarantees Ireland the full cost of patient treatment.

                  That is not uniform practice across the EU. I am acquainted with Polish, Slovak and Czech ‘temporary residents’ i.e. living and working in Ireland on short-term contracts, who have been required to pay ‘top-ups’ – one of E4,500 for emergency eye treatment – because the Irish system can only claim equivalent costs to those pertaining
                  in the patient’s country of ‘normal residency’.

                  It is therefore less to do with EU ‘reciprocal arrangements’
                  than with the advantages of the British NHS. Your costs
                  for 21 nights in a Dublin hospital would total E2,530 for the average in-work, short-term resident or any Irish citizen (B&B only). Scans, anesthetists, consultant and/or surgeon costs come on top of that.

                  NB “…. the Irish government makes all final decisions on medical benefits eligibility – no one should presume they are entitled to any benefits without confirmation from the appropriate authorities.”

                  The European Health Insurance Card or EHIC allows the holder to access public health care services when travelling or on holiday in another EU or EEA country.

                  NB: “Public healthcare systems vary from country to country, and few countries pay the full cost of healthcare for holders of the Card. The Card does not cover the cost of repatriation…. You may therefore wish to take out private insurance for your trip.” (

                  The British NHS is one of those “few countries”.

                • simhedges

                  Yes – all this I know (well,except for the specific costs for Irish residents). However, the fact is that in Ireland I got free cover (EU reciprocal arrangements), but if I travel to the USA, Canada or any number of places outside the EU, I get no such free cover.

    • fry_up

      Okay, here’s a report on the economic benefits of immigration, from the
      House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee:- – in summary, little positive or nagative difference to GDP per capita.

      It’s incredibly patronising to dismiss people’s concerns about the country (as opposed to their family) simply as ‘nonsense I read in the paper’. Immigration may not affect people’s families in an immediate and direct way, like taxes pensions and health, but they can see the scale of it and the effect it’s having, they want to put the brakes on it, and they are becoming increasingly annoyed that no mainstream party will act on the matter.

      The more interesting angles are ‘How will we pay for the immigrants’ pensions when they retire?’ and ‘Is the indiginous population of the UK really poorly skilled, poorly educated and lazy, and if so why?’

      • pigou_a

        The debt and implicit pension liabilities people like Chote are attempting to explain are not per capita, but for the whole economy. If there are more individuals to share the burden, debt and liabilities per capita will fall.

        Few people can see the overall “effect of immigration on the UK” except through what they hear in the media. As a recent report highlighted, on average the British public thinks 31% of the population is a recent immigrant, whereas in reality 13% are. This is strange because generally, the average opinion is pretty accurate.

        Where do they get these wildly inaccurate beliefs from? It wouldn’t be that newspapers have been scare mongering and exaggerating the scale and consequences of migration for the last 20 years, in a desperate attempt to flog papers? Journalists have polluted the public debate by deliberately misleading their readers, and now millions of readers are simply no longer buying news.

        • Petra Thompson

          “Where do they get these wildly inaccurate beliefs from? ”

          Perhaps the ridiculous number of non-white presenters used by the BBC?

          Perhaps a loony lefty did the survey, and they interviewed more people who live in towns/cities in England. “what % of the population are recent immigrants” looks like a stupid question to me. What on earth is “recent” supposed to mean? This year? The last 10 years? The last 30 years? And how do people identify non-white immigrants as immigrants? Where I live almost any white person under 50 was born outside Britain. But most people driving through my area would have no idea these people did not come from families who have been in England for 200 years.

          If immigrants are perceived to be a problem, then they are a problem.

        • sarahsmith232

          what on earth are you talking about ‘few people can see the overall effect of immigration’. when was the last time you set foot in London? 1983? try checking out East London, or pretty much any other part of London, it has been turned into a part of the Islamic 3rd world. it’s the shape of things to come for the rest of the country if Labour get back in and it should be resisted by all means. if you knew the first thing about the effects of immigration on this country you wouldn’t be writing that utter clap-trap.

        • tolpuddle1

          In parts of London, well over 31% of the population are recent arrivals.

          Please get real – the scale of migration (both recorded and unrecorded) has been massive since 1997 and threatens to continue being so.

    • tolpuddle1

      Many people under 45 are living in a fantasy world; their experience has been that of living in an increasingly international and prosperous world – in consequence they think such a world is the natural and inevitable order of things and mass-immigration thus a Good Thing.

      But of course the world isn’t really like that at all and never will be – even a slight interruption to our imports of food or oil would plunge us immediately into a deep 1940’s-style crisis or worse. The under-45’s will then discover painfully the necessity of national borders and the regulation of immigration. How liberal will they be when queueing desperately for food or petrol and hoping the migrants ahead of them in the queue don’t exhaust the supply ?

      Part and parcel of liberal attitudes are a fanatic conviction that the countryside doesn’t matter and that only a few selfish Nimbies imagine it does. But do you really wish to live in a nightmarish, overcrowded 24/7 giant car park Britain, with no sleep, rest or sanity, where everyone is frazzled, workaholic and on chemicals? In any case, the countryside is our food supply – YOU CAN’T EAT MONEY.

  • IvanTudorWho

    Alternatively the children of immigrants might end up becoming indistinguishably British, in which we’re not talking about hordes of foreigners taking over but rather hordes of foreigners becoming our countrymen. That’s something to be quite proud of, isn’t it? Or at least it is to me, as a child of immigrants who always puts White British on census and background forms. Sectarianism, anti-British attitudes and racism seem much more worrying than people physically arriving here. Incidentally, the Tories would do well to ditch the Syrian neo-Nazis and switch their efforts to pro-British but conservative immigrants within Britain. I hesitate to mention the M word on this particular blog, but yes, even them. Building a broader centre-right platform would surely be the way to win election after election. Second- and third-generation immigrants are also amongst the most implacably opposed to further immigration, principally because they have become British and don’t really want to be re-identified as foreigners after years of living peacefully. So again, you might find some unlikely bedfellows amongst unfamiliar faces.

    • OldLb

      For the simple reason it doesn’t make economic sense.
      The average government spend is 12K per person per year.

      How does a worker in Starbucks get anywhere near being an economic benefit?

      They aren’t pay for the services they consume, and as well they have taken a job that is low skilled and should be done by someone on welfare.

      So we’re paying twice. Once to subsidise them to live here, and secondly because we’re paying for someone on welfare.

      Then if they leave later in life, they don’t pay any more taxes in the UK, but we still have to pay for their pensions.

      • IvanTudorWho

        You may well have a point, but I think that as conservatives we should look at the human as well as the economic. In abstract, immigrants might be an economic calculation, but once here they are flesh and blood, with skills and virtues and foibles like the rest of us.

        It also depends on what type of society we want to be. My own view is fairly middle of the road. We should pretty much let people get on with what they want to do, but this requires a certain amount of social cohesion and even national pride. Too much fattening kills the laissez faire goose.

        It may well be that left-liberals are foisting a radical pro-immigration agenda on the rest of us and engaging in name-calling rather than rational debate (for example, who writing here hasn’t been edited out of Comment is Free for suggesting that their columnist Ismael Haniyeh might be a touch right-wing?). Fine. Then let’s improve the debate and sideline such God-forsaken idiots. But I’m not sure that we do well by trading statistics, and I rather suspect that this is a trick devised by left-liberals to ensure that they win arguments even when they are in the wrong.

        Above all, let’s not bash immigrants for decisions that are in the hands of national politicians.

        • OldLb

          In part I agree.

          1. Asylum isn’t migration, its a moral issue. However 40,000 successful asylum seekers isn’t any issue.

          2. You can’t knock the motvation of almost all migrants. They work hard, have got up off their arses and done something. There are benefits. However, the usual claim, we wouldn’t have had curry without migrants doesn’t hold water. We don’t have lots of Aztecs demanding human sacrifice, but we still have chocolate.

          3. However, you can’t ignore the bad. The problem is financial. The article claims that migrants will pay pensions. They won’t. Its a farcical claim.

          UK spending 722 bn

          UK population 63 m

          Spend per person. 12,000 a year.

          So if migrants are, on average to pay their way, they need to pay 12K a year in tax. They don’t. Vast numbers do not. Then you have to knock on, that they take jobs and compete against those on welfare.

          ie. At the low end, is a disaster. At the high end, I don’t think it is. It brings work to the UK.

          If you read what I’ve written, nowhere have a bashed migrants. I’ve just pointed out that most migration to the UK is bad for the UK, with evidence.

          Nowhere does the OBS present any numbers or facts that can be checked. Its just waffle, and its wrong.

          Take this bit


          To sustain this belief you must either believe that this whole new generation of immigrants is going to come to Britain, work here and then return to their countries of origin.


          And in addition, not get any pensions. If they do, they get the pensions but pay no tax.

          Then you have the racists on the left. Migrants are better than British, so we have to have lots of migrants. Swap migrant for brit, and say we won’t employ migrants because they are crap workers compared to the brits, and the CRE will be onto you. However, they will come out with a racist coment the other way round.

          Lets make it a simple economic test where there is no race involved. Do you pay more than it costs to support you? Yes or no.

          Yes, you can come. No, you can’t or you have to leave.

          • Daniel Maris

            Importantly, immigrants are very dependent on state welfare in the form of housing benefit or state subsidised housing (often housing associations).

            It clearly depends which communities we are talking about as well. According to Wikipedia:

            “Somali-born migrants have the lowest employment rate among all immigrants in the UK. Figures published by the Office for National Statistics show high rates of
            economic inactivity and unemployment amongst Somali immigrants. In the three months to June 2008, 31.4 percent of Somali men and 84.2 percent of Somali women
            were economically inactive (the statistics include students, carers and the long-term sick, injured or disabled in this group). Of those who were economically active, 41.4 percent of the men and 39.1 percent of the women were
            unemployed. Employment rates were 40.1 percent for men and 9.6 percent for women. The male employment rate has, however, risen from 21.5 percent in

            A 41% unemployment rate among males is phenomenally high!

            • sarahsmith232

              it’s identical across the whole of W.Europe for Somali’s as well. I read that Somalia had a population of 45million but that it’s now only 30millioon, reason being that 15million have got asylum in Europe. how much longer does the Left believe this can go on for? in their deranged minds – indefinitely, until the whole lot is in Europe. that’s also how they feel about everyone else. this is never going to end.

              • Daniel Maris

                I think it’s unlikely that 15 million are in Europe. Most will have gone into Kenya and Eritrea and Ethiopia I suspect. There are only probably 200,000 Somalis in this country. It’s important to stick to the facts in this emotive area – but it’s important to stare the facts in the face. The reality is some immigrant communities are incredibly unproductive and are doing nothing to solve our social care crisis.

              • HookesLaw

                The CIA say net migration from somalia is 11.62 migrants/1,000 population

                Somalis are traditionally nomadic

            • HookesLaw

              69% of Somali men are economically active. Of them 41% are unemployed
              Thats unemployment at 28%

          • IvanTudorWho

            I have sympathy for some of this, especially with regards to inverse racism, which is exasperating. Also no intention to accuse you personally of immigrant-bashing, as such accusations are pointless and destructive at least in relatively intelligent forums. I also agree that those on the bottom get the brunt end of everything, and then get abused for their troubles by those more comfortably off amongst us who don’t face the same pressures.

            The difference between us is not any of these things, but that I take a more communitarian and less utilitarian attitude than you. If we are in the same country, we should look after each other whatever the costs. Moreover, there’s no need to restrict our community to white post-Christians. We can be bigger and broader than that. Equally, without building some form of common culture I don’t think that we can sustain a generous community, which I suppose makes me mildly anti-multiculturalist. Overall, the question for me is who should be in our community not necessarily whether they can pay their way.

            You will notice, of course, that this is just as far away from the prevailing neoliberal views as are your own opinions.

        • sarahsmith232

          or, let’s just not let so many in/

        • tolpuddle1

          Britain was always a political fiction, now held together only by Whitehall sending massive consignments of cash north of the Border.

          Thus “British national identity” is the faintest of phantasms and in any case, many migrants don’t accept it.

          It’s time to rebuild English national identity and rescue the concept from the Far Right. Until this is done, many people in England (though not of course hollow, greedy Yuppies with no loyalty except to Money !) will suffer from a lack of identity and the gnawing feeling of living in a country which no longer exists and where all are strangers to each other.

          • IvanTudorWho

            Agree strongly with this, although I’m more optimistic about fictional national identities. They work. The Kalevala and Shahnameh distinguished the Finns and Persians from more dynamic neighbours, centuries ago, and now nobody would question that they have separate identities. The French language famously performed a nation-building function. I don’t mind if something is fictional if it works.

          • johnslattery

            The “far right” are the only people in England who actually stand up for their beliefs and put their personal safety on the line. If the native English are too cowardly to support them, then frankly they deserve to go on losing their country, as they are doing now, town by town.

            • simhedges

              I trust that one of the beliefs of the “far right” is ‘all things in moderation’.

          • AtMyDeskToday

            “now held together only by Whitehall sending massive consignments of cash north of the Border”

            That argument long ago lost all credibility. It’s been shown again and again that Scotland is roughly in balance, tax paid to the UK government vs funds received.

            “Thus “British national identity” is the faintest of phantasms”

            Mostly because many English repeatedly refer to England when they mean Britain.

            However, don’t let facts get in the way of your argument.

            • tolpuddle1

              I wasn’t taking a dig at the Scots, though I do believe that today’s turbo-capitalist Britain (which I detest) is powered and financed mainly by London and the South East.

              The result is that whereas Scotland and Wales still have national identities, England is now little more than a hole in the air; Englishness struggles on in, say, Todmorden on the Lancs/Yorks border, but has vanished completely from London and the SE. Needless to say, this isn’t the fault of immigrants, but the fault of the Westminster elite, who have since 1979 fervently tried to create and maintain an England which is no more than an economic machine, merely a cheap replica of the US or Hong Kong, robbed of any identity of its own.

              As “man does not live by bread alone” this economic machine has not created identity or belonging, still less the happiness that springs from these; only a selfish degraded population obsessed by pleasure, money and bling.
              Occasionally aware of this, the British elite has resorted to would-be-patriotic wars (in which the public has lost all interest), “National Army Day” or similar phantoms, obsessive coverage of royal events and, most of all, “British National Identity.” But as Britain is merely the federation of three proud, independent countries with very different traditions, constructing “Britishness” is as futile and foredoomed a pursuit as chasing will o’ the wisps.

              The glue holding the UK together was Protestantism, but since 1960, even cultural Protestantism has become history.

              • Kate HA

                Apparently you’ve already handed Northern Ireland to the corrupt, bankrupt Oligarchy which is laughably designated a ‘Republic’ of Ireland. Protestantism is still the majority ‘culture’ in NI, as is the national identity of that demographic i.e. ‘British’.

                Captain Wilfred Spender of the Ulster Division’s HQ staff after the Battle of the Somme (1 July 1916) was quoted in the press: “I
                am not
                an Ulsterman but yesterday, as I followed those courageous men in their
                amazing attack, I felt that I would rather be an Ulsterman than anything
                else in the world.”

                The final sentences of Captain Spender’s
                account furthered his viewpoint: “The Ulster Division has lost more than half of the men who attacked [21,000] and, in doing so, has
                sacrificed itself for an
                Empire which
                has treated them none too well.
                The much derided Protestant Ulster Volunteer Force has won a name which equals any in history.
                Their devotion, which no doubt has helped the advance elsewhere,
                deserves the gratitude of the British Empire. It is due to the memory of
                these brave fellows that their beloved Province shall be fairly

                Ah yes … ‘fairly treated’ when they volunteered again in
                1939-1945 … there was on conscription in NI but sold out by the megalomaniac liar Blair in 1998 after 30 years of Provisional IRA terrorism. Another “proud, independent” culture with a strong sense of identity sacrificed on the altar of your “turbo-capitalist” economy by patronising Quisling politicians with no sense of national pride or identity.

                I pity and identify with those decent, puzzled, and betrayed English friends and colleagues I have been privileged to know throughout a long career. I listen with recognition as
                they describe the imposition of an alien ideology.

    • sarahsmith232

      ‘Sectarianism, anti-British attitudes and racism seem much more worrying’ absolutely agree . . . which is the reason why immigration from Pakistan/Somalia/Bangladesh etc, etc, etc should stop

      • IvanTudorWho

        It’s interesting to see the disagreement here between the economic right-wing who speak in figures and the social right-wing like you and me. Speaking personally, I don’t mind whether it stops or not, but I wish someone would find a way of making it all work. I have no wish for British cities to end up like Londonderry and Derry. An end to butt-kissing of the Islamist far-right would be a good start, and many Muslims would probably thank us for it.

      • Mos bos

        too bad that the only anti immigration party is going after Eastern Europeans while embracing the above with both hands. If I am not mistaken, fresh immigrants from the above are the most ardent proponents of UKiP.

  • Neuberger’s Cocktail

    This has to be the best example of Government mathematics since their advice on how to increase domestic milk productions in WW2; it began ‘consider the spherical cow….’

  • Roy

    How can bringing in 140,000 immigrants a year, when over this number are lying dormant in the suburbs doing nothing but receiving government assistants. If the work is there, then breaking-in the riffraff of the English community back into a work situation, is how to do it. Not bringing in foreigners. No matter how harder they work, if the English equivalent won’t do it, let them go hungry. It is not the answer to ignore the lazy crowd of illiterate stagnating sloths who will not even try to find work, when they cost the country so much to keep in comfort doing damned all.

  • Daniel Maris

    Chote is a fool who giggles unrepentantly when interviewees ask him to explain the apalling inaccuracies of OBR forecasts since 2010.

    Chote’s policy prescriptions would take us to Japanese population levels within a few decades and further destablise our culture and constitution.

    We currently have well over 2 million unemployed people in this country. It’s not people we lack…it’s skills and motivation – and jobs.

    Another thread today makes clear also that older people are increasingly staying in the job market. It’s currently 10% for over 65s but there’s no reason why it couldn’t be 30% within a couple of decadesif we needed them to stay in teh market.

    Another aspect for the future is clearly robotisation. We have seen already how for instance item picking in warehouses is becoming increasingly robotised. Robotically driven vehicles are being tested on the UK’s roads. It’s likely within a few years that supermarket checkouts will be robotised. I think robotisation of a huge number of job areas will free up millions of workers within our economy over the next few years.

    So, overall I don’t see an issue as long as we invest in training and skills, reform our welfare structure and make use of older people who want to work.

    • OldLb

      Another aspect for the future is clearly robotisation. We have seen already how for instance item picking in warehouses is becoming increasingly robotised.


      And if you have high costs of employing people, that is the direct result. Or, if that doesn’t happen, jobs will be offshored to areas where there aren’t the taxes on jobs.

      Employer’s NI and taxes on cigarettes both work in the same way.

      • Daniel Maris

        No, doesn’t have to be high costs of employing. Shelf pickers were always very low paid. It’s just robots can do it more cheaply. That’s why they will eventually supplant many workers.

        • Norman Richardson

          Robots don’t take paid holidays, sick leave, maternity leave, don’t have unions calling them out on strike, work 24/7 without complaining, don’t need pension funds (that’s what will kill most jobs in the future) don’t answer back and won’t take you to an employment tribunal for unfair dismissal when they’re replaced with a better younger model. We’re all doomed.

          • Daniel Maris

            Yep, all that’s saving us at the moment is that they are very expensive! But once they are in mass production costs will tumble.

  • CaediteEos

    The only positive to come out of this latest piece of OBR drivel is the almost universal disdain it’s been met with. I can’t find anyone that seems to think the level of immigration they propose is anything other than totally nuts. The right is gradually winning the argument on immigration, although it’s a bit late…

    • Count Dooku

      I think you and Douglas missed the point of the OBR’s piece. It is not their responsibility to set policy, just to give statistical and economic analysis of the implications of the governments policy. If policy changes, so does their analysis.
      Douglas fairly points out that there are some big assumptions, but you can’t do statistical projections and analysis without assumptions. For example the govt could change the pension age to 90. This will overnight cut the projected govt expenditure but it’s unlilikely to happen.
      You can disagree with the immigration policy like I do but you can’t say their analysis is invalid.

      • allymax bruce

        No, it is you ‘missing the point’. Hardly anybody here trusts the OBR, simply because they do the propaganda/scaremongering brainwahing of Westminster, and we all know it ! Check this out; another example, like Douglas Murray’s that show what the OBR do.
        BBCNews Scotland reports, “OBR lowers forecast for oil and gas revenues”; this is supposed toxin all Scots into believing we’ve no oil left, but the truth is Scotland has at least £2 trillion left ! That’s enough to last for another 100 years ! Besides, there’s another report that says, even without our oil, Scotland has just as much wealth as UK has; (http:\ And that’s WITHOUT OUR OIL !
        The OBR are only Westminster scaremongering propaganda office.

        • Count Dooku

          So you don’t trust the OBR but you trust fishy Salmon? It’s a fact that North Sea revenues have been declining. There’s no politics in that statement, just fact.

          • Daniel Maris

            The OBR are certainly part of a brainwashing operation by which people are supposed to sign up to reduced working conditions and allow their country’s culture to be changed completely without their explicit consent.

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