Posts from NIESR staff and visitors on research findings and policy.

Dr Heather Rolfe

Posted: 11 February, 2016 - 12:30 with: Comments
For some time opinion polls have shown that the public sees immigration as one of the most important issues facing Britain.

Jonathan Portes

Posted: 8 February, 2016 - 08:02 with: Comments
The government’s partial and selective release of some data on EU migrants and in-work benefits has been widely reported.  What has been released is enough to make it still more obvious that the Prime Minister’s claim that 40 percent of recent migrants were “dependent on benefits” was, at best highly misleading.

Dr Angus Armstrong

Posted: 3 February, 2016 - 13:17 with: Comments
The Economic Governance reforms sought by the Prime Minister seem anodyne next to red cards and emergency breaks. Yet the issues raised in the negotiations go right to the heart of the UK and EU problem. The immediate aim is to pacify Euro sceptics, but the coherence of the arrangements will eventually be judged on financial markets.

Jonathan Portes

Posted: 2 February, 2016 - 12:34 with: Comments
The President of the European Council, Donald Tusk, wrote today to the members of the Council (EU Heads of Government) setting out his proposals for a "new settlement for the UK within the European Union". What does the proposal mean for free movement of workers in the EU, immigration to the UK, and our in-work benefit system?  My very quick (apologies in advance for any inaccuracies or oversimplifications) are as follows. 

Jonathan Portes

Posted: 23 January, 2016 - 16:03 with: Comments
The Grand Old Duke of York had nothing on the Prime Minister’s European “renegotiation”.  The Prime Minister floated an “emergency brake” on free movement more than a year ago. But the proposal was quickly ditched, because, as the Financial Times said, the rules are supposed to deal with situations such as acts of war or volcanic eruptions, not the movement of fruit pickers from eastern Europe.

Jonathan Portes

Posted: 18 January, 2016 - 14:33 with: Comments
Two months ago the Prime Minister claimed that “around 40 percent of all recent European Economic Area migrants are supported by the UK benefits system.”  It was immediately obvious that this number was cooked up in Number 10, not by a statistician but rather by special advisers.  The UK Statistics Authority forced DWP to publish, very hastily, a deeply unconvincing post-hoc