Monday, January 14, 2008

Daily Express - "Two Million Homes for Migrants"

Typical calm and composed headline on the front page of the Daily Express today, bless them (image taken from Obsolete who also posts on this). Today's front page must be an Express reader's dream come true. Immigration and Princess Diana. Anyway, the content of the report contains many questionable claims, not least the idea that we will be building two million homes for migrants. The report itself suggests that we might need to if trends continue. In other words, nothing is set in stone that we will need to build two million homes. However, various other aspects also stick out.

The claims by MigrationWatch are based on the idea that
migration will grow from around 130,000 per year to 171,500 per year by 2026. Quite how anyone can make those kinds of projections is beyond me. In all likelihood, immigration will slow down over the coming years, rather than accelerate. Besides, a massive percentage of immigrants come over here to work for a limited period of time before returning to their country of origin. Believe me, being married to a recent immigrant, I have seen many of our friends go back to their country of origin once they had spent a couple of years here. These figures seem to suggest that the immigrants that are likely to come over will never leave and hence create pressure on the housing market. This could not be further from the truth. It is highly unlikely that those who come over will stay here permanently.

Another aspect of the story that seems quite curious is what the Express ignores. According to the figures, four out of ten of these new houses will be required to house immigrants. That means that six out of ten of the houses will be needed for non-immigrants. According to the figures in the article, new households will rise to 246,000 per year and 39% will be for migrants. According to the Express' figures, that means that by 2026, 4,428,000 houses need to be built. With 39% for migrants, this translates as 1,726,920 homes for migrants. This, in turn, means that 2,701,080 houses will need to built for non-migrants (the remaining 61% of housing). According to the Express, this means that 263 (1,726,920/18 and then divided by 365) houses will need to be built every day for migrants. However, this also means that 411 homes will need to be built every day for non-migrants (2,701,080/18 and then 365). And yet, for some reason, hardly any comment is made about the requirements for house building for non-migrants, even though they will be putting a massive strain on services. An extra 40% more housing will be required for non-migrants than migrants. Shouldn't the Express be focusing on this majority, rather than the minority of housing that is required for migrants? Using the analogy of the Express (migrant housing will be equivalent to 5 Birminghams - a pointless analogy, but let's go with it anyway), non-migrant housing will be the equivalent of nearly EIGHT Birminghams. And yet, strangely, the volume increase of migrants puts a strain on local services, but the massive volume rise in non-migrants will not. Puzzling, unless of course the argument is that immigrants don't work and contribute to the economy, whereas non-migrants do. An unsurprising slant by a paper such as the Express.

In short, the report is indulging in nothing more than old-fashioned scare mongering - shock horror. The housing shortage clearly has nothing to do with the amount of rich bastards buying multiple houses, no it's the immigrants that are to blame. And therein lies the problem. There are obviously serious concerns about the lack of housing in the UK, for some reason the Daily Express feels that the fault lies at the door of immigrants. Perhaps if they dug a little deeper, they might understand the true causes of housing shortages. But then, they are hardly likely to bite the hands that feed it, are they?

The Daily Express - they really hate immigrants.