Saturday, 2 April 2016

UKSA instructs ONS to review its flawed immigration statistics

The UK Statistics Authority have told the Office for National Statistics to review the way they estimate immigration figures after figures were obtained in February that showed more than double the number of National Insurance numbers were issued to EU immigrants last year than the number of EU immigrants that the ONS said came to live here.

There is no routine checking of who comes into or leaves the country so ONS figures are estimated based on a survey of a few thousand people at ports. The ONS said that last year EU immigration was 257,000 people but the HMRC issued 630,000 National Insurance numbers to EU immigrants for the same period. Even if half those National Insurance numbers were issued to EU immigrants already living here who had spontaneously decided to start working and paying tax, every newly arrived EU immigrant would have had to be an adult registering to pay tax and it would still leave 58k NI numbers unaccounted for. The numbers just don't add up and by such an enormous margin that there is either benefit fraud on an unprecedented industrial scale or the ONS methodology is so fundamentally flawed that their statistics are no more accurate than rolling a dice and adding a few zeroes.