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 522.

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

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 521.

    It's obvious that migrants are going to be contributers and british are going to be takers from the economy. Migrants will work for less money and price british workers out of the workforce.
    Without migration those jobs would go to british workers and not have to rely on benefits.
    But that does not suit business executives as it will impact on their bonuses.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 520.

    Politicians and others seem to think opposition to mass immigration is based solely on net profit/loss. It's not.

    For me, the negative change in British society and culture as a result of mass immigration is the number one reason for opposing it.

    When will politicians realise this? why do you think there is 'white flight' from neighbourhoods that have become 'diverse' almost overnight?

  • Comment number 519.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 518.

    I am sure the Germans as immigrants would have made the country so much better. Trains would run on time, industry would be thriving, etc. such a shame we stopped their honest attempt to invade and immigrate and fought and died doing so in ww2. What an economically disastrous attitude we had then. So glad we have experts to rig the basis of studies to deceive us from making such errors again.

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 517.

    Rather than importing so called cheap labour why didn't we automate our businesses better to do away with more menial work. Add to the fact the country is overpopulated as it is, there about 4 million unemployed and it is changing our culture beyond recognition, the government has committed treason allowing it.

  • rate this
    -4

    Comment number 516.

    Can UKIP, The Daily Mail, Conservatives right/ Euro sceptics now shut up and stop all the lies and misinformation the keep spouting out.
    The vast majority come from other parts of the EU and er.... WORK.

  • Comment number 515.

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

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 514.

    456 Mr Marsh... what of DNA studies that show the vast majority of the White British population have had ancestors here since the last glacial period? Labour churned out the fiction you promote via Barbara Roche, their failed 'Minister for Truth'. Do some research and check the ACADEMIC rebuttals made to her, they should satisfy your rather snobbish want of historical fact.

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 513.

    When you say that 'mass' immigration 'pollutes' our island, does that refer to the white people from Australia, South Africa, USA, Canada, New Zealand etc. who come here to live and work? Or just the people from Black and minority ethnic backgrounds?
    I think it's racist attitudes that pollute our country.

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 512.

    All we seem to hear is how much we've benefited from Immigration and the EU, I do hope the EU don't find out 'how much we benefit' because with such a ONE WAY relationship they may realise that they don't actually need us! (or doesn't it work that way?)

    Let's not get into the Democratic Deficit and our Trade Deficit eh? Or the fact that half the UK kids are born to Immigrants?

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 511.

    491.Nick Funnell
    "What about the NHS creaking at the seams, or indigenous people on benefits because a cheaper immigrant has pushed them out of a job?"

    That's strange because the NHS also creaked at the seams in the 80's and early 90's when unemployment was also similar especially amongst the young... Remind me what government was in power... Oh ye the Tories...

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 510.

    The point is, not whether or not immigrants make a contribution, the point is there is (sensibly) no room left in the UK for more people. The country is unbearably overcrowded. There are not enough homes and no room to (sensibly) build more, not enough room on the roads. Cities are like ants nests!! Living in overcrowded conditions causes aggression and many psychological problems.

  • Comment number 509.

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

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 508.

    They're also making a substantial contribution to the number of people in the UK, and since the last thing the UK needs is more people we really should shut the door. It's simply that Britain is becoming less pleasant to live in due to the number of people and the amount of development needed to sustain them, and that's a much bigger loss than any economic gain.

  • Comment number 507.

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

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 506.

    431.steve
    TOTAL RUBBISH - read ALL my comments
    420.
    330.

    It is a pure TWISTED DECEITFUL PERVERSION to smog over the MUCH BIGGER negatives of immigration by just using employment/housing benefits & a few other benefits as a measurement of positivity or negativity.

    Its relatively like ignoring a bullet hole in someones head & just looking at a scratch on their hand. PU

  • rate this
    +5

    Comment number 505.

    A headline tailor made for the BBC - they could hardly contain themselves this morning. They could have led with "Report shows non EEA immigrants arrived since 1995 take more from the country than they contribute", but that would never do, would it? The BBC never fails to accentuate the position when it comes to immigration. Good to have Andrew Morton rubbishing it on "Today".

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 504.

    Trevor... SPOT ON

    Oldjack b... what on EARTH has that got to do with this debate?

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 503.

    @439.TaxiForDave

    Spot on.

    I'm fortunate enough to work internationally. The superiority of Russians/Germans in maths/financial ability over Brits is stark. Whinging about immigrants in a globalised digital world where borders matter less & less is akin to King Canute hollering at the tide.

    Get educated. Or get rolled over by those who are/have the capability employers want. Simples.

 

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