EU migrants ‘make net contribution to public finances’

5 Nov 14

Immigrants from the European Union are estimated to have contributed £20bn more to the UK’s public finances through taxes than they have received in benefits and public services in the decade to 2011, an analysis has found.

An examination by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London found that migrants from the EU-15 countries, which joined the bloc before 1995, contributed 64% more in taxes than in spending, amounting to a £15bn net benefit.

The report also found that immigrants from the ten countries (A-10), including Poland and the Czech Republic, which joined the European Union in 2004, also contributed more. However, the differential was lower, at 12%, or a £5bn surplus.

According to The fiscal effects of migration to the UK report, migrants who arrived since 2000 were 43% less likely to receive state benefit, and were also 7% less likely to live in social housing. Overall, people who arrived in the UK from Europe since 2000 are more likely to be in jobs than natives, with 81% of A-10 migrants in work in 2011, 70% of those from EU-15 countries and 70% of natives.

Dustmann said a key concern in the public debate about immigration was whether those arriving contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems.

‘Our new analysis draws a positive picture of the overall fiscal contribution made by recent immigrant cohorts, particularly of immigrants arriving from the EU.

‘Responding to comments on our earlier report on this topic published last year, we performed extensive sensitivity analysis, which does not alter our main conclusions: immigration to the UK since 2000 has been of substantial net fiscal benefit, with immigrants contributing more than they have received in benefits and transfers. This is true for immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe as well as the rest of the EU.

‘European immigrants particularly, both from the new accession countries and the rest of the European Union, make the most substantial contributions. This is mainly down to their higher average labour market participation compared with natives and their lower receipt of welfare benefits.’


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