“370,000 migrants on the dole”

“370,000 migrants on the dole”

This is a Daily Telegraph headline for an article based on this DWP report .  However if you bother to read the report you will see that the headline massively distorts the contents of the report and either of the following headlines might have been more appropriate.

“DWP Report shows a staggeringly LOW rate of benefit fraud by ‘foreign nationals’”

“Immigrants claim far less in Benefits than UK Nationals”

Here (“370,000 migrants on the dole. Really?“) is an alternative interpretation of the report which seems to be based on the actual data.  (Please let me know if there are any flaws in this interpretation.)

Chris Graying and Damian Green have already written an article in the Telegraph in which they pursue their previously exposed habit of distorting facts and figures to create a narrative that is totally unsupported by the evidence.  Their dishonesty beggars belief and these are two government ministers.  As I write this, many others will be writing similar follow up articles for the right wing press in which they will endeavour to smear and vilify all “immigrants”  as work shy benefit scroungers – all of this based on no evidence whatsoever.

Instead of directing their venom at immigrants, whose only crime is that they had the initiative and gumption to get off their back sides and try to make  a better life for themselves in another country (just like many Brits have done in the past), the ‘Alf Garnetts’ of the tabloids should be directing their criticism where it belongs, at successive British governments both Labour and Tory who have failed to develop a coherent immigration policy.  If immigration has been haphazard, poorly planned, and ill prepared, it is the politicians that should be blamed, perhaps that’s why they are so busy trying to deflect the blame.

Both immigration and welfare need reforming but this must be based on open public debate based on facts and evidence not made up stories and propaganda  from the tabloid press and government ministers with little acquaintance with honest debate.

Here is another must read article if you want a more balanced view of the issues. It comes from two members of the Labour party who must share the blame for New Labour’s disastrous inability to take the lead in getting to grips with immigration policy, however their contribution in this article is infinitely more useful than that of Grayling and Green) :

Chris Bryant and Stephen Timms: Grayling and Green are using dodgy statistics

Here is another rebuttal this time from OpenDemocracy – well worth reading.

And another:  A shameful spinning of the facts on immigration – In fact, the Government statistics debunk the myth of ‘benefits tourism

I would be interested in the comments of anyone who can give evidence that undermines any of the above.

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