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By Philippe Legrain 4 COMMENTS

Another day, another twisted use of statistics by MigrationWatch.

Their shock report suggests the cost of schooling migrants’ children is astrononomical.

They do this:

1) By using cumulative figures. If you add up spending on anything over a long period of time, it looks much bigger than it really is. Using a single year’s statistics, 2009, and MW’s deeply flawed methodology, the cost of schooling the children of migrants who have arrived since 1998 is £4.6 billion, out of an education budget of £88 billion.

2) By counting children who have one parent who was born abroad as half due to migration. Since Nick Clegg has a Spanish wife, they include half the cost of educating their kids as being due to migration. Excluding that dodogy use of statistics, the cost in 2009 falls to £3.6bn.

3) By ignoring the taxes that migrants pay. Research by the Home Office, IPPR, Christian Dustmann at UCL and others show that migrants pay more in taxes than they take out in benefits and public services. Allowing for that, it is not UK-born taxpayers who are paying to educate migrants’ children, it is migrants who are subsidising the education of the children of people born in the UK.

4) There are probably lots more flaws in the stats. Those are just the ones I spotted in 5 minutes after getting back from a trip to Helsinki.

Yet again, #MigWatchFail

Posted 14 Oct 2010 in Blog
  1. @JamesFirth says:

    This type of comparison annoys me for another reason. The education budget is currently around £86bn PER YEAR. So since 1998 we’ve spent £1 trillion on education, of which either £4.6 or £3.6bn (depending on your method) has been spent educating the children of migrants.

    Either way it’s less than half of one percent of the total amount spent on education over the same period.

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