Tuesday, April 16, 2024
HomeMigration WatchWhat the Budget figures missed out – migration and the population explosion

What the Budget figures missed out – migration and the population explosion


IN THE cacophony of figures and forecasts unveiled during the Chancellor’s Budget speech, one number remained conspicuously absent – the total population of the UK.
Official statistics indicate a significant surge from 61.3million on the brink of the 2008 financial crisis to more than 68million today, a 10 per cent increase in just 16 years. Despite economic upheavals including the banking crisis, Brexit and the covid pandemic, the influx of people into the country shows no signs of abating.
While Westminster seems to have turned a deaf ear to this crucial metric, a handful of MPs and peers, including Migration Watch UK President Lord Green of Deddington, have persistently attempted to raise awareness about its significance. As Iain Martin in The Times astutely observed: ‘Someone who deserves credit for predicting this is Lord Green. When the former diplomat founded Migration Watch more than 20 years ago he was dismissed as a racist and mocked for saying that we might have to prepare for an increase in population of two million per decade. If, as a country, we wanted to do this, he said at the time, politicians should be honest with voters about the implications of adding to the population a number equivalent to a city the size of Birmingham every few years.’

Recent revelations buried within the budget documents shed light on an even steeper rise than previously estimated. However, the challenge lies not in merely tallying numbers but in comprehending the profound implications of such rapid demographic shifts – the impact on housing, public services, social cohesion and productivity. As Martin aptly noted on his social media platform: ‘Could there be a connection between poor business investment – insufficient investment in machinery, automation – and the availability of cheap labour via a six million increase in the population?’

While conventional wisdom touts immigration as an economic boon, enabling labour influx to fuel growth, mounting evidence suggests a more ‘nuanced’ reality. Despite a swelling population, Britain’s productivity is barely inching up and growth is faltering. This raises pertinent questions about the effectiveness of current immigration policies in driving economic prosperity.

Over two decades ago, Lord Green warned of a potential population surge. His prescient insights now force us to confront the uncomfortable truth: our national policies are conducted in blissful ignorance of the monumental demographic shifts under way.

As the discussion around immigration and population growth intensifies, it’s imperative for policymakers to engage in honest dialogue, devoid of ideological biases. Failure to do so risks exacerbating social tensions and exacerbating economic challenges. It’s time for Whitehall and political parties to heed the warnings and engage in a candid examination of the central issue at hand before it’s too late.

In a world where numbers rule supreme, ignorance is a luxury we can’t afford.

Lord Green addressed the issue of mass immigration in a recent speech at the House of Lords. His pressing question to the government resonates with us all: How do we confront this significant threat to the future cohesion of our society? You can see his speech here

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Dr Mike Jones
Dr Mike Jones
Dr Mike Jones is Migration Watch's Executive Director.

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