EU migrants pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits, according to a new report.

While UKIP-influenced rhetoric may come to define the elections on 7 May, immigration from the 28 other nations within the European Union has a net positive effect on the British economy, bringing well educated workers and entrepreneurs to British shores.

Nearly three quarters (74%) of EU immigrants come to the UK to find work or study, and overall EU migrants make a net contribution of £55.23 per second to the UK economy.

From 2001-2011, EU migrants have paid approximately £20bn to the UK government in public services – £5bn more than they received. Migrants from EU15 countries contributed an average of 64% more in taxes than they received in welfare, while Eastern European migrants contributed around 12% more in taxes.

Beyond their direct financial contribution the UK plc, immigrants also create jobs in the UK, with EU migrants 6.8% more likely to start a company than a natural-born UK citizen, which means more jobs for everyone in Britain.

High-earning, migrant-founded small or medium-sized business, defined as file annual earnings of £1-200m, currently employ an estimated 1.16m people in the UK, with Ireland and Germany providing the most successful entrepreneurs.

James Howell, company director of Rapid Formations, who commissioned the report, said the statistics painted a clear picture as to how important European immigration is to the UK economy.

He said:

“With the race to Downing Street well and truly under way this week, it’s crucial that voters aren’t swayed by mistruths surrounding European immigration. Not only are EU migrants better educated and more likely to be employed than UK citizens, but they’re making money – lots of money. That goes on to fuel economic activity, bringing new investment into the country, starting up new companies and creating much-needed jobs.”

“There appears to be this damning portrait of EU migrants lazing about the streets of London in search of benefits, but in truth, those individuals are putting more into the system than we are – and they’re taking out less, too.”

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