Robert Winnett, London Telegraph, December 12, 2007v
More than 80 per cent of new jobs created by Labour over the last decade have gone to foreign-born workers, a new analysis of official figures claims.
The Statistics Commission found in a study that 1.4 million of the 1.7 million jobs created since 1997 had been filled by those born overseas.
Chris Grayling, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said last night: “The reality is that for all the billions spent by Gordon Brown on welfare-to-work programmes all he actually seems to be doing is creating British jobs for foreign workers.”
The Statistics Commission was asked to study the proportion of foreign workers filling new jobs in Britain following confusion over Government statistics released in the autumn.
After publishing incorrect data, ministers said that 2.1 million jobs had been created in the past decade—54 per cent of which, or 1.1 million, had gone to foreign workers.
However, the Statistics Commission said the proportion of new jobs going to foreigners was as high as 81 per cent.
Firstly, it used a lower estimate—1.7 million—for the number of new jobs created since Labour came to power. This figure is lower because it excludes jobs taken by people over pensionable age.
It also used a higher estimate of 1.4 million for the number of foreign workers who have taken these jobs. This includes the 1.1 million in the Government figures, plus an additional 300,000 workers who were born abroad but have British citizenship.
By using these estimates, it came up with the higher proportion of 81 per cent.
The Commission says that Government departments are discussing which one should become the standard measure.
Frank Field, a former Labour minister who requested that the Statistics Commission study the figures, said: “I’m sure that 81 per cent is the most valid figure otherwise it would never have been released.
“It is now even more urgent that the Government controls our borders from Eastern Europe.”
Last night, the Department of Work and Pensions defended its use of the lowest figure.
A spokesman said: “The best estimates for the number of jobs that have gone to foreign nationals since 1997 still stand and have been confirmed by this report.
“Of the 2.1 million increase in employment since 1997, about 1 million were UK nationals and 1.1 million foreign nationals.”