An Oxford Economics research study published by the Department of Employment and Learning (DEL) concluded that migrant workers had helped maintain an adequate labour supply to fuel the 2004–2008 economic boom. The availability of migrant labour seems to have made the difference between some businesses surviving, or in the case of food processing, not needing to relocate production abroad. (The authors quote a survey of 600 businesses where 31% said that migrants were important in the survival of their organisation and this rose to 50% in health and social care and agriculture.)
Aimee Horton just wanted her blog Pass the gin to provide a realistic counterpoint to all the "perfect parents" she came across online. Keeping up with the Joneses today often means painting a picture of a family life more idyllic than the Waltons, all sun-dappled Instagram scenes and tweets about making cupcakes together. "Perhaps some people truly love all elements of motherhood but there's a less represented group of us who love our children to bits but are very glad when they go to bed," says Horton, who documents her struggles trying to get planking toddlers into car seats and dissuading her son from having the Spiderman logo shaved on to the back of his head.