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 542.

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

  • Comment number 541.

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

  • rate this
    +1

    Comment number 540.

    So if oyu look at the bigger picture, strain on schools., housing, british workers on the dole, the NHS, the fact that it is only EU migrants only, then you are a closed minded racist.

    If you don't and just look at the bottom line as it is the aswer you want, you are a wonderfully intelligent, open minded individual.

    Genius

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 539.

    If British business hadn't been so short sighted and taken the easy approach to employing foreigners,instead of training British people we would have a higher skilled British workforce. Meaning less British people unemployed, and we wouldn't have such a housing shortage. My son went to New Zealand as he couldn't get an apprenticeship here,

  • rate this
    +3

    Comment number 538.

    Apparently you can go and work in Poland/India etc for 50p a day showing quite clearly that we can always go and work abroad in these countries with the only problems being;

    -No benefits paid to anyone let alone foreigners
    -No social housing
    -No NHS
    -No employment laws worth having

    iIts one way traffic..........

  • rate this
    -52

    Comment number 537.

    The comments on this are hilarious. It's like the BBC have rounded up all the racist uneducated people and got them to comment... Sad that this is what you people are really thinking. I put it down to our failing education system that we've got adults who think at that base level.

    Keep up the good work, I'll be back to laugh at more of your hateful comments later.. Well done.

  • Comment number 536.

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

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 535.

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

    Why are ANY immigrants given social housing when there are millions of people who were born here on the waiting list?

  • rate this
    -9

    Comment number 534.

    Perhaps now we can concentrate on the real reason people are against immigration ... sheer racism!

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 533.

    There are no jobs because immigrants are taking them all, there is a lot of good talent here in the UK, and yet they can't get a job because an immigrant has taken the job they want.

    I knew someone who was expecting a kid and needed a house, and guess what .... an immigrant with no kids gets the house making the poor girl homeless.

  • Comment number 532.

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

  • rate this
    0

    Comment number 531.

    507.JeffFew

    "Where do these people get their figures from? Only London? Outside the capital, a pole earns at most 6.80 per hour"

    ==

    It's not what he's paid which counts. It's the value of the work he does.

    The UK gives the employee the smallest share of this, out of many EU countries.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 530.

    If I take in a lodger that would contribute positively to my families finances. If I took in ten lodgers that would contribute even more

    However cramming ten lodgers in would significantly lower the quality of life in the household.

    A balance has to be struck.

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 529.

    Im no fan of unrestricted immigration because of the social and cultural impact it has on our cities, but I wish people would stop making the ridiculous assertion that immigrants are taking jobs from UK-born citizens. They like the rest of us require goods and services and therefore create economic opportunities as well as absorbing them.

  • rate this
    +8

    Comment number 528.

    It's worrying to constantly hear people say that they want to come to Britain for a better life. Maybe all they hear are people like Diane Abbott saying that the British people are very welcoming, and we have a unique welfare system.

    Actually, the British people as a whole are probably very worried, hence the attraction of UKIP's policies.

  • Comment number 527.

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

  • rate this
    +17

    Comment number 526.

    450. Random Advice

    Its not all about the money.

    -

    100% right

    It is about the quality of our lives

    It is about preserving our cultural identity, our way of life, our values

    It is not having to worry about the growth of some cultures that are abhorrent to our standards

    Most people didn't want this It was never in a Party manifesto

    It has been foisted on us by politicians without a say.

  • rate this
    +40

    Comment number 525.

    484 Blythkeith

    'comments like your is pure, simple RACISM'

    The first refuge of the left. Shout 'RACISM' to close the debate.

    If 'racism' is fear of being rendered a foreigner in your own country then you'll find that a great deal of people are 'racist'. More than 50% of schoolkids in B'ham have parents born outside the UK.

    A major city balkanised in less than a generation.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 524.

    Yes Britain reached saturation point years ago, but it is wrong to shake an arbitrary finger. I know many 'immigrant' families, who are professional hardworking & contribute hugely to society. They have worked our system to their advantage, through sheer aspiration & hard work. While many of the indigenous 'estate' lot nearby, have worked it through knowing what boxes to tick on their claim forms.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 523.

    suggest these ''facts'' collated up to 2011 are not meaningful ''facts'' until 2041 !

    ... how long before these immigrants get tired of washing cars and decide to let the British state feed and house them?

    ... certainly too soon for a BBC headline to trumpet a quote: IMMIGRANTS 'MAKE NET CONTRIBUTION' ... far too soon in fact

 

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