February 12, 2009

Britain ‘sizzles’ over labor report

The Office of National Statistics poured gas on the imported labor controversy in Britain Thursday, claiming the number of foreign workers rose in 2008.

During the year in which the number of British workers fell by 234,000, the number of foreign workers in Britain increased by 175,000, the office said.

Less than a week after a refinery strike over labor imported for a construction project ended with Prime Minister Gordon Brown declaring, British jobs for British workers, government ministers were sizzling over the report, The Times of London reported Thursday.

The ONS said it released the report because of the topicality of the issue. But, others called it a deliberate attempt to embarrass the prime minister, The Times said.

A government official told The Times, the fact that they highlighted this in this way, in a press release, looks like they are trying to embarrass the Government.

Britain's official statistical office, the ONS, is an independent office It split from the government last year after accusations that ministers were manipulating numbers for political gain, The Times said.