This week the debate on whether large scale immigration provides a positive or negative fiscal impact to the UK Treasury was ignited by the cream report by the UCL report compiled by professors Dustmann and Frattini. On Wednesday, City AM posted Sam Bowman of the Adam Smith Institute’s take on the UCL report. He grabbed the reports headline figure, naively that EU migrants from 1995 to 2011 contributed a net £5 Billion to the UK’s coffers and “native Britons” cost £591 Billion. He then went on to argue that these numbers justified his well-known stance that there should be no border controls as uncontrolled migration will bring untold wealth.

However, just like the press and supporters he has cherry picked numbers and misunderstood the narrow parameters and broad assumptions of the report. The annex of the report is categorical and clear. Mass immigration has a negative fiscal impact on the UK costing it between £114bn and £159bn in 17 years. (Annex 7)

The sum vastly dwarfs the positive EU figures and if you believe, the author’s calculations proves the economic argument that large scale migration has a negative impact on the UK treasury. However the report on EU migration we believe is flawed. Firstly it was published in November and heavily criticized under peer review. Secondly, this report provides no answer to the claims, it only deals with immigrants on a short term basis, not over the lifetime in the UK and ignores costs to infrastructure, schools, hospitals and the displacement of UK citizen jobs. It fails to accept as ever that the EU’s own research states that large scale EU migration has contributed to the lowering of wages to the poorest in society.

Finally, the report doesn’t disclose that one of the authors, professor Dustmann, was the author of the government report that said only 13,000 EU migrants would come to the UK. Or that the UCL received 53 million from the EU in 2013. In the city, disclosure of conflicts are essential to let readers know if a perceived bias of favour is in the content. Promoting EU migrants over non EU migrants when in receipt of EU funds might be one of those times when it is essential to let people know.