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Complainant Name:
Jonathan Portes

Clauses Noted: 1

Publication: Daily Mail


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: "Hundreds of thousands of East European migrants are making little or no contribution to the Exchequer despite working full-time, a report claims today". Subsequent claims that 150,000 Eastern European migrants without partners or children and who earned the minimum wage paid around £1 a week in net tax were incorrect. 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 references to "net tax" and "contribution to the Exchequer" were misleading; it did not take into account indirect taxes, including VAT.


The complaint was resolved when the newspaper amended the online article to make clear that "thousands", rather than 150,000, migrants paid £1 in income tax, and published the following footnote:

An earlier version of this article reported claims from Migration Watch that 150,000 Eastern European migrants with no partners or children who are earning the minimum wage paid just £1 a week in net tax, including National Insurance. In fact, other statistics in the report show that, of this number, childless couples will in fact pay more. All of the workers contribute to the Exchequer through VAT and other indirect taxes. We have now amended the article accordingly.

Date Published: 05/06/2014

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