Immigrants from the 10 countries to join the EU in 2004 have contributed billions more in taxes than they take out in public services, a study has found.
Overall, the EU immigrants added $4.96 billion to the UK economy between 2004 and 2011, according to a study by University College London’s Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM) published in the Economic Journal.
Recent non-European immigrants’ net contribution was likewise positive, at about £5bn.
The analysis includes the migrants’ share of all public sector costs, and incorporates the increased cost of public service infrastructure such as hospitals and schools as the population increases.
The study challenges the claims of UKIP and some Tory MPs, who say that the UK cannot afford the levels of immigration from the EU.
The study also found that immigrants who have arrive din the UK from the EU and elsewhere since 200 were 43% less likely than British people to receive state benefits or tax credits and 7% less likely to live in social housing than British people.
Professor Christian Dustmann, Director of CReAM and co-author of the study, commented:
“A key concern in the public debate on migration is whether immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and
welfare systems. Our new analysis draws a positive picture of the overall fiscal contribution made by recent
immigrant cohorts, particularly of immigrants arriving from the EU.
“Responding to comments on our earlier report on this topic published last year, we performed extensive sensitivity
analysis, which does not alter our main conclusions: immigration to the UK since 2000 has been of substantial net
fiscal benefit, with immigrants contributing more than they have received in benefits and transfers. This is true for immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe as well as the rest of the EU.
“When we additionally consider that immigrants bring their own educational qualifications whose costs are borne by
other countries and that they contribute to financing fixed public services such as defence, these contributions are even larger.
“European immigrants, particularly, both from the new accession countries and the rest of the European Union,
make the most substantial contributions. This is mainly down to their higher average labour market participation
compared with natives and their lower receipt of welfare benefits.”