Government revenues ‘boosted by migration’, research finds

4 Nov 13
There has been a net fiscal benefit from immigration to the UK since 2000, researchers claimed today.

According to the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London, immigrants who arrived in the UK since 2000 were less likely to receive benefits and less likely to live in social housing than UK natives.

This positive contribution was particularly evident among migrants from the European Economic Area who were found to have contributed 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits between 2001 and 2011.

Christian Dustmann, the centre’s director, said: ‘Our research shows that in contrast with most other European countries, the UK attract highly educated and skilled immigrants from within the EEA as well as from outside.

‘What’s more, immigrants who arrived since 2000 have made a very sizeable net fiscal contribution and therefore helped to reduce the fiscal burden on UK-born workers.’

He added that claims about ‘benefit tourism’ were disconnected from reality.

Meanwhile, a study by the National Institute of Economic and Social Research concluded that skilled migration boosted productivity.

The research, based on employer interviews, focus groups and data analysis, found that recruiting from outside the UK had allowed employers to fill specialist roles and enabled some organisations to expand.

UK employees were found to have accepted the need for skilled migration and had benefited from working alongside migrant colleagues, although they also expressed concern about job opportunities for people born in the UK.

Report author Heather Rolfe said: ‘We hear a lot about public opinion and concern about migration, but our findings suggest that the need for skilled migration is more widely accepted than is often believed. People enjoy working alongside migrants and feel they personally benefit in terms of their own skills and the services they are able to provide.’

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