Recent immigrants to UK 'make net contribution'

 

Prof Christian Dustmann: Immigrants 'contribute to public finances'

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Immigrants to the UK since 2000 have made a "substantial" contribution to public finances, a report says.

The study by University College London said recent immigrants were less likely to claim benefits and live in social housing than people born in Britain.

The authors said rather than being a "drain", their contribution had been "remarkably strong".

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

Immigrants who arrived after 1999 were 45% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than UK natives in the period 2000-2011, according to the report by Prof Christian Dustmann and Dr Tommaso Frattini from UCL's Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration.

They were also 3% less likely to live in social housing.

"These differences are partly explainable by immigrants' more favourable age-gender composition. However, even when compared to natives with the same age, gender composition, and education, recent immigrants are still 21% less likely than natives to receive benefits," the authors say.

'Highly-educated immigrants'

Those from the European Economic Area (EEA - the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) had made a particularly positive contribution in the decade up to 2011, contributing 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits.

Start Quote

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

End Quote Report co-author Prof Christian Dustmann

Immigrants from outside the EEA contributed 2% more in taxes than they received in the same period, the report showed.

Over the same period, British people paid 11% less in tax than they received.

Despite the positive figures in the decade since the millennium, the study found that between 1995 and 2011, immigrants from non-EEA countries claimed more in benefits than they paid in taxes, mainly because they tended to have more children than native Britons.

The report also showed that in 2011, 32% of recent EEA immigrants and 43% of non-EEA immigrants had university degrees, compared with 21% of the British adult population.

Graph

The research used data from the British Labour Force Survey and government reports. Prof Dustmann said it had shown 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".

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

Start Quote

The real issue for the future is the very large numbers of low-paid immigrants from eastern Europe”

End Quote Sir Andrew Green, Migration Watch

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

Sir Andrew Green of the pressure group Migration Watch said the report had "been spun".

"We've had roughly four million immigrants under the previous government - two-thirds of those were from outside the European Union," he told BBC Radio 4's Today programme.

He said the report found that, "since 1995, they have made a negative contribution overall".

He added: "So the verdict for non-EU is that the benefit to the exchequer is minimal or negative."

He accepted that "if you take the whole of the EU", the benefit was "clearly positive".

But Sir Andrew said this would be expected "because you are including German engineers, French fashion designers and - as it's the European Economic Area - even Swiss bankers [sic]".

"The real issue for the future is the very large numbers of low-paid immigrants from eastern Europe," he said.

He added: "The report looks backwards but doesn't look forwards.

"The professor's report does not take into account - no doubt for good reason - future health costs as migrants get older nor the pension bill, which is huge."

Career peak

Start Quote

It's absolutely right that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of the British benefits system to ensure it's not abused”

End Quote Government spokesman

Prof Dustmann told Today: "It is true that recent immigrants are younger but they are also much better educated.

"So they will take more out of the benefit system but they will also contribute more in the future because they have not yet reached their career peak and their full income potential.

"Of course, the more you earn, the more you pay in taxes."

A spokesman for the government said: "We welcome those that want to come here to contribute to the economy, but it's absolutely right that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of the British benefits system to ensure it's not abused."

Graph

He added that this was why the government was strengthening measures to ensure that benefits are only paid to people who are "legally allowed to live in Britain".

Meanwhile, a separate UCL study released on Tuesday warns that the government's target to cut net migration to the UK to the tens of thousands is "neither a useful tool nor a measure of policy effectiveness".

That report argues that actions to cut work-related, student and family migration have damaged the UK's reputation as a good place to work and study.

The 2011 census showed that 13% of the population of England and Wales was born outside the UK.

 

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  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 142.

    52.billy goat gruff
    "..cabbage bagging and fruit picking do not require a diploma. The reason why the Eastern Europeans are doing these jobs is..."
    -
    Because they are paid here what a brain surgeon would earn back where they come from?
    On the back of historic productivity gained through investment that is now being leeched out.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 141.

    Whilst having not read the report i imagine immigration does yeald positive contributions(in all aspects)due to the criteria applicable before coming to the UK to work. It is to what extent the report takes into account the illegal immigration and overstayer population and their call on resources (they are not eligible for welfare benefits). I shall give the report a read and hope to be surprised.

  • rate this
    +6

    Comment number 140.

    I am a European immigrant and I pay about 1700 GBP a month in taxes. That's enough to support two non-working white British Smiths and Joneses all by myself.

    Not all immigrants are poor Bulgarian or Romanian thieves, (Not suggesting all B/R are thieves, just mentioning a stereotype!) Some are actually regular people who for some reason made a voluntary conscious decision to come here.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 139.

    A comprehensive study but comprehensive enough? It is common knowledge that certain nationalities contribute less than others, even within the EU. Unfortunately those non-contributors tend also to figure high in health and crime costs (another factor not considered here).

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 138.

    OK even if everyone coming here worked this country still cannot cope.

  • rate this
    -24

    Comment number 137.

    What a DISGRACE. All these jobs lost for the good god fearing people of this country due to a uncontrolable influx of immigants!

    We need to build a wall around our coast as the population is already at a scary level. All you left w(h)ingers don't know how this will seriously harm our glorius country.

  • Comment number 136.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 135.

    Difficult to really get to grips with this as these figures will include premier league footballers and City workers but at least it is an attempt at quantifying the situation. I'm sorry UKIP but if you want me to believe the common view lets have some figures, if we don;t know who is in the country how can they be claiming benefits, it is all newspaper selling material.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 134.

    .

    If any doubt existed that the knee jerk, reactionary, little Englanders do not give one hoot for the EVIDENCE & simply gob off regardless then look no further than this very HYS...


    ...don't like that the FACT that the EVIDENCE UTTERLY SHREDS your main "argument"...???



    Well, just claim it is made up, without even bothering to read the full report because you are too LAZY...

    .

  • Comment number 133.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 132.

    The only 'net' contribution they make, is a net change in British culture and values.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 131.

    Could UCL next do a similar study on the economic contribution of work-shy chavvy BNP/UKIP supporters?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 130.

    BNP/UKIP racists think the British White man (cos its always about men with them - women belong in the kitchen, don't you know) needs a helping hand. That he isn't clever, industrious, or skilled enough to compete without a nice big helping hand of isolationism. It says much about what utter failures of human beings they are.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 129.

    If you measure the quality of life in £SD then yes they make a contribution because someone somewhere is making a lot of money out of it, but when an Englishman feels like a foreigner in his own Country you have to start wondering why and start looking at the sheer number of Non English people we have in this country.

    As individuals they are all ok, but do we have to have Soooo Many?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 128.

    Despite the positive figures in the decade since the millennium, the study found that between 1995 and 2011, immigrants from non-EEA countries claimed more in benefits than they paid in taxes, mainly because they tended to have more children than native Britons.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 127.

    @99. sexyfurrytigre
    "Nonsense. Most immigrants esp in London are here as cheap labour or to claim every benefit they can or both". .... "Funny it's always the people making this reports who don't live in immigrant areas - so they have no idea what the problems are."

    You mean these report writers from UCL, University College, London?

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 126.

    To all the Daily Mail readers it was Margaret Thatcher who signed the Maastricht Treaty that allowed mass European immigration

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 125.

    Wow, moderators are going to be busy today....I predict many people will dispute these findings.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 124.

    This is a good report and very positive for immigrants. I just wonder whether, if all immigrants suddenly disappeared, their jobs would suddenly be devoured by all the British jobless or are we still very 'choosy' about what we do. It is that ideology that got us into this mess with immigration in the first place. If we do not learn from our mistakes, we get more of the same until we do.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 123.

    I'm a little bit sceptical of EVERY official report; statistics - as politicians know only too well - can be easily manipulated. Also I think its release has been carefully timed, to temper fears of immigration just before we open our doors to Bulgaria and Romania in the new year.

 

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