Now that we've pulled apart the idea that newly-arrived immigrants are being fast-tracked to social housing ahead of indigenous Britains, it's worth a quick look at the myth that immigrants are somehow a drain on the economy; that there is a pressing need to "get tough" with them, send them home, afflict various hardships on them, whatever takes your right-wing fancy.
Now that we’ve pulled apart the idea that newly-arrived immigrants are being fast-tracked to social housing ahead of indigenous Britains, it’s worth a quick look at the myth that immigrants are somehow a drain on the economy; that there is a pressing need to “get tough” with them, send them home, afflict various hardships on them, whatever.
Much like the scaremongering over social housing, the perception that immigrants are somehow a drain on the country is built on a foundation of xenophobic sand.
As a 2009 study has noted, immigrants from the “A8 countries” – that is the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland – are around 60 per cent less likely than natives to receive state benefits or tax credits or to live in social housing.
The report added that “even if A8 immigrants had the same demographic characteristics of natives, they would still be 13 per cent less likely to receive benefits and 28 per cent less likely to live in social housing”.
In 2008-09 – the year prior to the study – A8 immigrants paid 37 per cent more in direct or indirect taxes than they received in public goods and services.
And here is the important bit: in 2008-09 – at the height of Labour’s policy of so-called “uncontrolled immigration” – A8 immigrants contributed 0.96 per cent of total tax receipts and accounted for only 0.6 per cent of total expenditures (see table).
As Left Foot Forward has previously pointed out, immigrants are helping to pay for our pensions.
As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.
We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.