MP for Windsor
Working Hard For You
Re-introduction of universal exit checks

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department what recent progress she has made in introducing universal exit checks; and if she will make a statement.

Karen Bradley (The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for the Home Department): The Government is committed to reintroducing exit checks. By April 2015, comprehensive exit checks will apply on scheduled and commercial air, sea and rail routes.

We have recently introduced new powers in the Immigration Act 2014 to support embarkation checks at the border, and we continue to work with carriers and port operators to explore the least burdensome way of delivering the exit checks commitment.

 

Accuracy of immigration statistics

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Minister for the Cabinet Office what assessment he has made of the accuracy of the International Passenger Survey for estimating migration flows; and if he will make a statement.

Nick Hurd (The Parliamentary Secretary, Cabinet Office; Ruislip, Northwood and Pinner, Conservative): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the UK Statistics Authority. I have asked the authority to reply.

Letter from Glen Watson

As Director General for the Office for National Statistics, I have been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking the Secretary of State for the Home Department, what assessment she has made of the accuracy of the International Passenger Survey for estimating migration flows; and if she will make a statement.

ONS publishes estimates of long-term immigration, emigration and net migration each quarter. These are largely derived from the International Passenger Survey (IPS). The estimates are published alongside their margin of error which refers to the 95 per cent confidence interval, and is a measure of the uncertainty associated with making inferences from a sample.

The latest IPS estimate for long-term immigration for the year ending December 2013 was 485,000, with a margin of error of +/- 29,000. The latest IPS estimate for long-term emigration for the year ending December 2013 was 295,000, with a margin of error of +/- 19,000.

ONS has published an overview of the quality and reliability of the International Passenger Survey (IPS) in relation to producing estimates of long-term international migration flows, that is, flows of migrants intending to remain in or out of the UK for twelve months or more. This can be accessed at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/guide-method/method-quality/specific/population-and-migration/international-migration-methodology/international-passenger-survey-quality-information-in-relation-to-migration-flows.pdf

Furthermore, ONS has recently published a review into the ‘Quality of Long-Term International Migration Estimates from 2001 to 2011’. This review found that a substantial amount of immigration, particularly of EU8 citizens, between 2004 and 2008 was missed by the IPS, prior to improvements to the design and coverage of the survey in 2009. Revised net migration estimates, which are consistent with the results of the 2011 Census, were published as part of the review. The review can be found at:

http://www.ons.gov.uk/ons/rel/migration1/long-term-international-migration/quality-of-long-term-international-migration-estimates-from-2001-to-2011/sty-quality-of-ltim.html

The improvements to the IPS have reduced the relative error around the estimates, as well as the balance of the sample between EU and non-EU migrants.

 

Improving Migration Population Statistics

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative):
To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer on how many occasions the Office for National Statistics has met the four participating local authorities in the Improving Migration Population Statistics programme; and what the outcome was of those meetings.

John Healey (Financial Secretary, HM Treasury; Wentworth, Labour):
The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 24 May 2006:

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Question asking on how many occasions the Office for National Statistics has met the four participating local authorities in the Improving Motion and Population Statistics: (DS) project, and what was the outcome of those meetings. I am replying in her absence.

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) is currently working in partnership with four Local Authorities (LAs) to investigate whether there are local data sources that could be used to assist the compilation of the nationally produced population estimates. The four LAs are Barnet Derby Hammersmith & Fulham and Welwyn Hatfield. These authorities were selected from four groupings of LAs which each scored highly on different characteristics associated with difficulties in estimating population accurately.

Initial meetings were held with the four selected LAs in December 2005 and January 2006. At these meetings each of the LAs agreed to work with ONS to gain a better understanding of how they use the population estimates, what other local information and data sources they use, what particular issues affect population estimates within their LA and what methods and local data sources they use to overcome these issues.

A further round of meetings is currently underway to review progress and a final round of meetings will be held at the end of the studies in summer 2006. ONS will review the findings to see if any improvements can be applied to the mid-year population estimates processes or quality assurance procedures, either for all LAs or for groups of LAs. ONS will publish the outcome of the studies and evaluate their success, including a review of the criteria and approach for selecting LAs.

 

Windsor MP asks questions on immigration

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask the Secretary of State for Work and Pensions

(1) what estimate he has made of the number of residents in Slough issued with new national insurance numbers in each of the last five years for which data are available;

(2) how many people from new EU member states countries have registered in Slough for new national insurance numbers in each of the last five years.

James Plaskitt (Parliamentary Under-Secretary, Department for Work and Pensions; Warwick and Leamington, Labour): Information as to how many residents of Slough were issued with new national insurance numbers is not available. Information regarding the number of applications for national insurance numbers administered in Slough is in the table.

Applications for national insurance numbers administered in Slough

  NUMBER
September-02 to March-03 2,651
April-03 to March-04 5,127
April-04 to March-05 5,388
April-05 to November-05 5,203

 

The available information regarding the number of national insurance numbers issued in Slough to people from the new EU Accession states is in the table.

National insurance numbers issued in Slough to people from EU Accession states

  NUMBER
October-04 to March-05 362
April-05 to November-05 1,986

Notes:

1. The new EU Accession states entered the EU from May 2004.

2. Figures on the number of national insurance numbers issued to people from EU Accession states are only available from October 2004.

 

Population measurement methodology

Adam Afriyie (Windsor, Conservative): To ask Chancellor of the Exchequer

(1) whether a racial impact assessment was carried out before the Office for National Statistics (ONS) changed the mid-year population methodology in 2002; and what consultation was undertaken by ONS before making this change;

(2) whether he has plans to change the methodology used to determine (a) inward and (b) international net migration for use in mid-year population estimates.

John Healey (Financial Secretary, HM Treasury; Wentworth, Labour): The information requested falls within the responsibility of the National Statistician who has been asked to reply.

Letter from Colin Mowl, dated 20 December 2005

The National Statistician has been asked to reply to your recent Parliamentary Questions asking (a) whether a racial impact assessment was carried out before making changes to the mid-year population estimates methodology in 2002; and what consultation was undertaken before making these changes and (b) whether any changes are planned to the methodology used to determine migration for use in the mid-year population estimates. I am replying in her absence.

No significant changes were made to the methodology used to calculate mid-year population estimates in 2002. The estimates published in 2002 were the mid-2001 population estimates and these were the first mid-year population estimates to use the 2001 Census results. The standard ‘cohort component’ methodology was used, in that Census data were updated to reflect births, deaths, migration, and ageing of the population between the date of the Census and the mid-year point (approximately 9 weeks). In a Census year the mid-year estimates are rebased on the most recent Census before the method is applied.

The most recent significant change to the way that the mid-year population estimates are compiled was made in 2000, and applies to the mid-1999 and subsequent estimates. This was in respect of the internal-migration component of the population estimates. This change was widely consulted on before introduction. It was extensively peer-reviewed both within the Office for National Statistics (ONS) and by external academic and local authority experts. The then Liaison Group on Population Statistics (now the Central Local information Partnership (CLIP) Population Subgroup) was also fully consulted on the change. This change, in simplified terms, introduced the use of patient records to allocate migration within (former) health authorities instead of electoral roll information. This was widely thought to be a more reliable method for calculating internal migration. This change was documented in Population Trends 101. No specific racial impact assessment was carried out as part of this methodological change. However, consultation confirmed the recommendation that the methodology should be implemented to improve the quality of population estimates.

A detailed description of the current methodology used to estimate population and the methodology used in a ‘Census year’ is published in Making a Population Estimate in England and Wales”. This document also describes the principal changes that have been made to the methodology over time.

ONS is currently undertaking a major project to research improvements to migration and population statistics (IMPS). Some of the major strands included in this project are the estimation of international migration at the national level, the sub-national distribution of international migration, and the estimation of internal migration. Currently ONS has no plans to implement significant changes to the methodology used in the calculation of mid-2005 population estimates as research and evaluation is ongoing. (Mid-2005 population estimates are due to be published in August 2006.) However, this current position is subject to possible change. Before any changes are implemented, they will be carefully researched, evaluated and where possible assessed for impact. Any changes will be introduced in a planned manner and they will be announced in advance, in accordance with the National Statistics Code of Practice.