The Labour Government kept secret a report from 2007 estimating the impact of immigration from eastern Europe. It has been disclosed following a Parliamentary Question about the additional costs to public services of immigration.
What would be the economic costs and benefits? What would be the impact on crime? What about housing? What would be the geographical distribution within the UK?
In some respects the burdens would be relatively low. The "young demographic" of those coming over to work from eastern Europe meant a proportionately lower burden on the NHS. There was no evidence found that immigration increased unemployment overall. There were considered to be a net benefit regarding economic growth. On the other hand for schools there was the challenge of extra "English as an Additional Language" pupils.
All this data is important for a more informed debate. Rather than being pro or anti immigration the debate should shift to what individuals offer. Why do they want to live here? Are they entrepreneurs? Are they welfare tourists?
The Communities and Local government Secretary Eric Pickles said:
"This is Labour's secret report on immigration which they didn't want you to see. Under this Government immigration has fallen by a third and we are working hard to ensure proper controls on immigration and to support those who work hard to get on in life. We are also working to address the ‘pull’ factors that previously led to unsustainable impacts on this country."