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Complainant Name:
Mr Jonathan Portes

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: The Daily Telegraph


Mr Jonathan Portes, Director of the National Institute of Economic and Social Research, complained to the Press Complaints Commission that the newspaper had published inaccurate and misleading information in breach of Clause 1 (Accuracy) of the Editors' Code of Practice. The complainant said that the following statement was incorrect: "Migration Watch said official figures show about 150,000 employees from Eastern Europe pay around £1 a week in net tax, while some on shorter hours pay nothing but still receive benefits". The report said a single person on the minimum wage would pay around £1 per week in net tax. It did not, however, state how many of the 150,000 single Eastern European migrants earned the minimum wage. The statement was therefore inaccurate. Furthermore, the reference to "net tax" was misleading; it did not take into account indirect taxes, including VAT.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper accepted it was not possible to state that 150,000 Eastern European workers were paying £1 a week in tax. It amended the online article to make clear that some, rather than 150,000, migrants paid £1 in income tax, and published the following footnote:

This article has been amended since it was first posted. The original reported MigrationWatch saying that a quarter of eastern European workers, around 150,000 people, on the minimum wage pay £1 a week in net tax. However, other data in MigrationWatch's analysis says that some people - childless couples where both partners earn the minimum wage - will in fact be paying more. The article has therefore been amended to reflect this.

Date Published: 30/05/2014

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