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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  • Comment number 422.

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

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 421.

    As I am now taking my state pension after half a century of working for my living, I take it that I am seen as being a negative in comparison with a the positive of a young immigrant?

    You can be sure that this social scientist(?) made sure not to compare immigrant and indigenous populations containing identical mixes of young and old, fit and disabled, healthy and ill.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 420.

    330. continued
    used/needed to run this country. including MPs wages & ripoff 2nd home energy expenses

    I am NOT in top 20% of earners/taxpayers, so I am NOT a full & net contributor. My life/existance is SUBSIDISED by top 20% of earners/taxpaers, as is 80% of workers in UK

    If you add EXTRA people at bottom of pile the ONLY FACTUAL result is a net NEGATIVE including WORSE UNSUSTAINABILITY

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 419.

    I watch TV programs on UK Policing it is always predominantly made up of foreign people committing all sorts of offenses, TV programs about social housing show foreigners after social housing, surely this is a true reflection of costs to the UK. Visit hospitals and it is a very high proportion of foreigners attending. NOBODY factors into the equation how much money is sent abroad!! by foreigners.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 418.

    372.shar281257

    You may think you are being droll of a troll, but it is language like your that will bring the forward which in may opinion is inevitable much closer. Do you know why ? your language if directed at any other group would be deemed racist ! Only because it is aim at the white indigenous people can you get away with it However this in itself will bring nothing but tears in the end

  • rate this
    +7

    Comment number 417.

    From the article:
    "Immigrants from outside the EEA contributed 2% more in taxes than they received"

    "immigrants from non-EEA countries claimed more in benefits than they paid in taxes"

    As the report contradicts itself I think we can safely say that its findings can be ignored.

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 416.

    We are over-crowded. It's easy to judiciously select statistics in order to support your preferred conclusions. By comparison, the report also says that if you take a wider time-frame the benefits of immigration are negative. I'm also sceptical about whether the report included the costs of policing our open borders, locating/repatriating illegal immigrants and incarcerating foreign criminals!

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 415.

    I think this report is only useful as a catalyst for further debate.
    It clearly needs further explanation and understanding, because this is a very complicated subject.
    The conclusions are hardly surprising, if you look at the make up of the team who prepared the report, and the institution they work for.
    Let us use this opportunity to add the reports findings to the larger debate.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 414.

    The level of debate on this site is depressingly poor, as well as often being inaccurate. Perhaps those who comment might wish to read the report before making their views known.

  • Comment number 413.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 412.

    To 321.Alpharius
    1 Minute ago
    "Frankly, I don't want more immigrants.
    no because TEH EVILZ OF FORGIN, but because I already have to compete with the other 2 and a half million unemployed youngsters and I don't need the extra competition"

    You are jobless not because of the Foreigners but because of your poor skills. You don’t seem to know how to use English Properly. What is TEH & FORGIN?

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 411.

    There is a lot more than just "economic" factors to take into account. What about crowding and culture beliefs? It is naive to think in terms of just money, money, money.

    When trust of the government is at the lowest levels ever, can you honestly blame people for not being a little concerned even when the government says otherwise, or when itself doesn't even have accurate immigration figures?

  • Comment number 410.

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

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 409.

    I'm pro immigration, but anti mass uncontrolled immigration. For hundreds of years we had sustainable and sensible amounts of people entering this country. I'd love a return to pre 2000 numbers but it's an impossible wish with us being in the EU. Iv'e no problem with skilled Romanians coming here to fill vacant posts but why oh why do we have the door open to everyone?!

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 408.

    CBI yesterday state they want to stay in the EU but be removed from the working time directive.
    Translation. Lots of immigration and make everyone work stupid hours for pathetic wages.
    That is the driving force behind mass immigration. Business wanting larger profits. Really is that simple.
    Can't blame people for wanting to work but lets look at the true reasons they are wanted here.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 407.

    It would be interesting to see the data broken down by country of origin

  • Comment number 406.

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

  • rate this
    -5

    Comment number 405.

    This independent and comprehensive report won't make any difference to the likes of the Daily Mail.

    White, British middle-class, over 45yr old males = good
    (all) Foreigners = bad

    Hey, don't laugh - it sells papers.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 404.

    you only need look at the disproportionate employees at the BBC to understand why the BBC would print this story, they do not reflect the country as a whole. Their seniors are lefty labour supporters the same who stop us from hearing the truth about the real state of the nation, forget the cost £'s look at the cost of the ghettos that are firmly fixed in our cities no go areas are now the norm.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 403.

    This report doesn't seem to reflect why David Cameron is desperate to get net Migration down to "tens of thousands" not "hundreds of thousands" and also why UKIP are now a political player with quite a large number of votes.

    We all know that some immigration is good for the country but currently we have 250,000 people annually making the UK their home which is the size of a small city.

 

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