Study finds migrants pay in £20bn more than they take out

Migrants from the EU have a lower rate of unemployment than the UK-born population, according to an analysis of 201 census data just published by ONS.   They also make a net contribution to the British economy whilst the UK-born population involve a net cost to the economy.   This is a stunning conclusion when the prevailing ideology, persistently promulgated by the Tories and the right-wing tabloids, is that EU migrants are largely ‘benefit tourists’.   What however detailed analysis of the figures shows, as opposed to anecdotes, is that migrants from the 10 Eastern European countries that joined the EU in 2004 contributed nearly a net £5bn to the UK  in the decade to 2011 whilst those from the original 15 EU members generated a net gain of £15bn over the same period.   The analysis further showed that EU 15 migrants contributed 64% more in taxes to the UK than they received in benefits, and migrants from the Eastern European EU members (Poland, Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia and Lithuania) contributed 12% more than they received.

However both migrants from the EU and the UK-born population had a higher rate of employment than migrants from outside the EU, and it is the latter who make up two-thirds of the England and Wales non-UK-born population, about 4.2 million out of 6 million.   Polish people were the most likely to be in work: 81% were employed compared with 69% of the UK-born population.   The lowest employment rate was for Chinese and Bangladeshi migrants, though 76% and 40% respectively were students.

The research also found that EU migrants are significantly younger than the average UK-born resident and also more likely to have a degree.   Significantly also, it was found that Britain tends to attract far more skilled immigrants than other EU countries.   Polish immigrants to the UK, for example, had much higher levels of education than those in Germany.   The study also found that a greater proportion of recent migrants are highly qualified.

It was striking however that the researchers calculated that, as opposed to EU migrants, the non-EU migrants between 1995-2011 involved a net cost to Britain of £118bn, partly due to the higher numbers of children and lower employment rate.   By comparison the EU migrants over the same period brought a net gain of £4bn.   That certainly highlights how far the UKIP argument about EU immigration has falsified the evidence and given a slant to prevailing views which is wholly inaccurate.


6 thoughts on “Study finds migrants pay in £20bn more than they take out

  1. Even if true, (I don’t really have very much confidence in the generally slippery ONS figures,) I don’t even pretend to understand what your point here is supposed to be?

    With structural unemployment in the UK currently stalled at around at least 3-4 million, (minimum,) all this means is that we’re compounding an already difficult and increasingly harrowing, (for many people,) situation, (one being cynically exploited and massively so by too many unscrupulous and abusive employers,) by introducing additional demand for a limited opportunities and resources.

    The government’s definition of what constitutes being employed has also been so stretched, manipulated and mangled so to include rubbish; such as things like zero hour contracts, temporary work, (even just a couple of day casual work,) and part time work, (that often don’t even pay enough to live on,) and various crap government funded training schemes, (which are where too many unemployed immigrants end being parked up, not in real employment,) and other rackets intended to prey on the unemployed and increasingly as well, the disabled.

    We are in fact, (de facto,) importing poverty and unemployment as government policy, and it stink to high heaven.

  2. This is good fun as well from this morning’s Guardian; though and entirely characteristically, not at all in a good way.

    “Ed Miliband reshuffles Labour election team:
    Lucy Powell given day-to-day responsibility for campaigning.”

    “Powell is Manchester’s first female Labour MP elected with a voter turnout of only 18.2% which is believed to be the lowest ever in a by-election since World War II.”

    In a safe seat.

    What can I possibly say?

  3. I am sorry to intrude on a discussion about immigration here but I was alarmed by a report in the Guardian that the back benchers had asked for Milibands resignation. It shocked me because I assumed that there was more real Labour at the back than at the front, who were more in tune with Milibands rejection of what he calls trickle down economics. If he expressed this more he would dive the polls for Labour up.
    The issue about immigration does need addressing.
    The extreme levels experienced in the last ten to fifteen years must have created some of the pressures on jobs, housing and services.
    Ed Miliband needs to shout louder about the fact that UKIP policies are Thatcherite, and that their stance on immigration is just a dog whistle. Equality and economic justice cannot be achieved with their flat taxes and privatisation polices.

  4. The fact that many immigrants contribute to the country by working, paying taxes and therefore helping the economy, doesn’t help British people who are unable to find work.

    If there were plenty of jobs and housing available for everyone, there wouldn’t be a problem, but unfortunately, that’s not going to happen.

    The real problem is that EU immigrants are better educated, more experienced and more motivated than many of our own people. So it’s natural for employers to prefer to employ them rather than Britons, especially if they are prepared to work for much less, even if that means living in poorer conditions. Forcing employers to at least pay them a living wage should help.

    I fear that for the time being we’re stuck with this situation, until such time as our schools and colleges can produce more employable youngsters. The question then is, would UK employers employ Britons or would they still prefer people from the EU?

    In the meantime, perhaps the solution would be to encourage employers (via financial incentives) to train our own youngsters, and also introduce more training programmes for older workers, to make them more employable. In the 80s people would be paid a sum in addition to their unemployment benefit whilst they attended training courses with a view to making them more employable. Oh, and we must do all we can to limit non-EU immigrants to those whose skills we really need, such as in the NHS.

    Otherwise we should perhaps accept the fact that we’re going to permanently have millions of unemployed Britons, but that we’ll also have enough people earning and paying tax to pay for them!

    Perhaps I should just point out that, despite my very foreign name, I was actually born here. My Polish father came here with the forces after having fought for our freedom and that of Europe, in WWII.

  5. In fact the popularity of migrant labor with employers probably owes more to the fact that can take a miserable wage and still come out ahead because of the strength of the pound against the Zloty, for example. A fiend of mine who supervised staff for a French distribution company, now operating all but a closed shop, (excluding anyone who doesn’t speak polish,) observed that young Polish girls seemed to be getting pregnant and leaving work almost as fast as they were being employed.

    Frankly I think that whole sickly eulogy to the alleged and fictitious benefits of immigration is complete and utter bunk, sponsored by same vested interests that are cynically benefiting financially from it, while the British working people are the ones, as usual, paying the price.

    When was the last time any of you lot actually worked in manufacturing, for example, rather than talking to bosses or their cats-paws?

    The answer is of course, never, hence the stupidity of these comments.

    For the record, (and I’m in noway unique,) I’ve now been unemployed and actively seeking work for over 4 years, (6 if count the 2 year period caring for my disabled wife,)and I’m anything but unemployable, but the job market is swamped.

    I’m currently looking desperately for any excuse at to vote Labour, but all I’m getting is, I’m being redirected to UKIP, who are; as you rightly observe an extreme right wing party, in no respect different from the other 2.

    These jobs have to be there in first place and they’re not.

  6. To illustrate what I mean; here is a completely typical, (though exceptionally courteous and positive<) response to one of the hundreds of recent job applications that I, (along with millions of others just like me,) have submitted.

    Dear Mr Craig-Weston,

    Thank you again for your application for the position as "XXXX XXXX".

    We regret to inform you that, in spite of your impressive Curriculum Vitae and excellent qualifications, our client could not consider you for this position, since we have received some applications which match more closely the requirements for the vacancy.

    We truly appreciate your interest and we wish you every success for your future career.

    What you've largely bought into is the Tory fiction, (that increasingly tired and unsustainable urban myth, ) that most people are unemployed because of some sort of presumed moral deficiency, (rich coming from almost any UK, MP,) or because it's some kind of lifestyle choice or because of some personal deficiency; which real or not could still be addressed and would then magically suddenly make someone, "employable," but never ever because there simply aren’t enough jobs.

    Meanwhile the vultures continue circle and pick off the weakest, (the sick and the disabled, literally in too many cases.)

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