Britain’s statistics authority, the Office for National Statistics (ONS), is set to investigate the discrepancy between National Insurance (social security) registrations and the official immigration figures, the latter which are based on a questionable estimate methodology.
Breitbart London first raised the issue in August 2015, prompting respected academics to chime in on the issue later in the year.
At the time, we revealed that while the International Passenger Survey estimated a rise 53,000 Romanians and Bulgarians in Britain, there were actually 214,000 National Insurance (NINo) registrations, creating confusion over the real number of migrants from the countries in question.
Now, the discrepancy reported in other migrant groups is set to be reviewed by the ONS with a view to revealing the true scale of migration into the United Kingdom ahead of the country’s European Union (EU) membership referendum on June 23rd.
The Telegraph reports that the ONS review “will be published alongside official net migration figures, which are expected to show that [t]he number of migrants coming to Britain is at near record levels”, adding comment from Jonathan Portes of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, who said: “The fact that the Office for National Statistics is going to look at these different sources and reconcile them is entirely welcome.
“This is an important issue, we know the current numbers are far from perfect and the Government has data which is highly relevant. They are doing their best to hide it from us.”
Official figures suggest that 257,000 EU migrants came to Britain last year, but over the same period 630,000 EU citizens registered for a national insurance number.
Breitbart London reported in August 2015:
…we know that the ONS numbers rely on the International Passenger Survey (IPS), which is a long-standing, entry-point survey of people travelling into the United Kingdom. The numbers are then extrapolated outwards to estimate those settling and those leaving the United Kingdom. Of the millions of people travelling in and out of the country every year, the IPS interviews around 750,000. The IPS cannot account for illegal immigration, as a result, and this is the first problem we have with our migration figures.
As they are estimates, the IPS numbers are far less reliable than NINO figures, which, as an ONS statistician told me, is hard data. This means that we should be looking more to the number of people registering for National Insurance in the United Kingdom. But we can’t. Because the number of people registering for National Insurance in any given year doesn’t necessarily mean that they entered the country in that year.
For instance, while 59,000 Spanish people registered for a UK National Insurance number to the year ending June 2015, some of them may have been here for years already.
But as people are noticing, the discrepancy between EU2 countries immigration figures and the NINo figures are particularly striking. There were 917,000 registrations in the year to June 2015, an 62 per cent increase (352,000) on the previous year. A whopping 76 per cent of these (697,000) were from within the European Union.
Within the EU the number of NINo registrations in the year increased by 66 per cent (277,000) on the previous year.
Conservative Party Member of Parliament David Davis told the Express: “Why is this information not available? This is an important measure of how the country is run. At worst, it is misleading the public. The numbers are potentially about half of what they should be.”