This week saw the publication of research on the economic impact of immigration to the UK. The breaking media reports made me think of six authors in search of a headline
The research was conducted by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) at University College London (UCL) and published by the Royal Economic Society in the Economic Journal.
In its own summary of the work, UCL headlined it as
Positive economic impact of UK immigration from the European Union: new evidence , adding that the report showed that European immigrants to the UK have paid more in taxes than they received in benefits, helping to relieve the fiscal burden on UK-born workers and contributing to the financing of public services.
A political football match starts
The report signaled the kick off at a political football match as national and international media joined the game. The headlines show how a complex report can be reported selectively.
The Sky headline selects the main point indicated in the UCL article, that EU migrants pay in more than they take out of the economy
The Guardian touches on the political point that the UK ‘gains £20 billion’ from EU migrants
The BBC suggests that New EU migrants add £5bn to UK
Business Week notes that EU migrants ‘ add billions to UK public finances ‘
The Telegraph and Daily Mail
The Telegraph and Daily Mail have taken a different approach.
The Telegraph notes that ‘Immigration from outside Europe cost £120 billion’; The Mail that Non-EU migrants are costing £120 billion.
Making sense of the headlines
You have to look at the report to decide which headlines summarize what the authors believe to be the key finding of their report, and which headlines are, shall we say, more selective.