UK’s migrants contribute £25bn to public purse

Migrants who have arrived in the UK since the year 2000 have worked more and received less in benefits than the average Briton, according to a study by University College London.

The study shows that people who have arrived in the UK from the European Economic Area (EEA) countries have been the most likely to make a positive contribution, and have paid about 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits between 2001 and 2011.

The net contribution that migrants have made since 2000 is estimated to be about £25bn. The authors of the report said that rather than being a “drain”, migrants’ contribution had been “remarkably strong”.

The government responded saying it was right to have strict rules in place to protect the benefits system.

But going back further, the study found that between 1995 and 2011 migrants from non-EEA countries had claimed more benefits than they contributed in taxes, due to higher numbers of children than average British families.

The report, written by professor Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini, also found that recent immigrants from the EEA participated more in the labour market.

Dustmann said: “Our research shows that in contrast with most other European countries, the UK attracts 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.

“Our study also suggests that over the last decade or so the UK has benefitted fiscally from immigrants from EEA countries, who have put in considerably more in taxes and contributions than they received in benefits and transfers.

“Given this evidence, claims about benefit tourism by EEA immigrants seem to be disconnected from reality.”

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Readers' comments (1)

  • Doesn't talk about the social costs and it only EU immigrants and does not consider the 500,000 in social housing, millions on benefits

    Please sign the Daily Express petition to stop EU immigration. Over 75,000 have signed in less than a week.

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