EU migrants make ‘net contribution’ to UK economy

EU migrants who have come to the UK since the year 2000 have made a 'substantial' contribution to public finances, according to a study by University College London.

Migrants who have come to the UK since the year 2000 have made a ‘substantial’ contribution to public finances, according to a study by University College London.

Rather than being a ‘drain’ on the economy, as the media often suggests, their financial contribution had been ‘remarkably strong’, the authors of the report said.

Immigrants who arrived in the UK after 1999 were 45 per cent less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than UK natives in the period 2000-2011, according to the report by UCL’s Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration. They were also 3 per cent less likely to live in social housing.

Those from the European Economic Area (EEA – the EU plus Norway, Iceland and Liechtenstein) had made a particularly strong contribution in the decade up to 2011, contributing 34 per cent more in taxes than they received in benefits.

The study found, however, that between 1995 and 2011 immigrants from non-EEA countries claimed more in benefits than they paid in taxes. In the decade up to 2011 British people also paid 11 per cent less in tax than they received.

The report found that in 2011, 32 per cent of recent EEA immigrants and 43 per cent of non-EEA immigrants had university degrees, compared with 21 per cent of the British adult population.

The research was compiled using data from the British Labour Force Survey and government reports.

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