Thursday

22nd Oct 2020

UK makes €25 billion profit from EU migrants

  • The UK treasury received €25 billion in surplus receipts from EU migrants. (Photo: EnvironmentBlog)

EU migrants paid €25 billion more in tax to the UK treasury than they received in welfare benefits, according to new research.

The €25 billion was accumulated between 2001 and 2011 the paper, published in the Economic Journal on Wednesday (5 November), said. It is the latest project by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (Cream) at University College London.

Read and decide

Join EUobserver today

Become an expert on Europe

Get instant access to all articles — and 20 years of archives. 14-day free trial.

... or subscribe as a group

The UK economy benefited most from migrants from the EU-15 countries who contributed 64 percent more in taxes than they received in benefits. However, migrants from the 10 central and east European countries (A-10) who joined the bloc in 2004 contributed 12 percent more than they received.

The study also contends that migrant workers were more likely to be in work and to be better educated than native Britons. Four in five eastern European migrants had a job, compared to 70 percent for Britons and people from the EU-15 countries.

Meanwhile, 62 percent of EU-15 migrants held a university degree, and 25 percent of A-10 migrants, marginally higher than the 24 percent rate among British nationals.

Overall, EU migrants contributed 10 percent more to the UK's coffers than natives, while contributions from immigrants from the rest of the world were almost 9 percent lower.

The paper comes at a sensitive time. Public fears about a rise in 'welfare tourism', where migrants move to countries to access welfare benefits, has seen London threaten a tightening of EU rules on free movement of labour. The German government has also presented draft legislation setting a six month deadline for EU migrants looking for a job and cracking down on abuse of the welfare system.

However, there is little empirical evidence that to suggest that 'welfare tourism' is a widespread phenomena.

"A key concern in the public debate on migration is whether immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems," said Professor Christian Dustmann, director of the centre and co-author of the study.

"Immigration to the UK since 2000 has been of substantial net fiscal benefit. This is true for immigrants from Central and Eastern Europe as well as the rest of the EU," he added.

UK prime minister David Cameron is under pressure from his Conservative party to demand a cap on EU migration in a bid to head off rising support for the UK Independence party ahead of next year's general election.

However, other EU leaders, led by Germany's Angela Merkel, have made it clear that any restrictions on the principle of free movement within the bloc are non-negotiable.

Green Deal

EU farming deal attacked by Green groups

EU agriculture ministers at around 4am on Wednesday reached a common position on the bloc's farming policy post-2020, including ring-fencing part of the CAP budget for initiatives that protect the environment - but with much flexibility for member states.

Opinion

All eyes on EU court for decision on religious slaughter

The European Court of Justice is currently facing a major question: can religious freedom coexist with animal welfare? The decision of whether religious slaughter can continue is expected in a matter of weeks.

Investigation

EU money used by neo-Nazi to promote Holocaust denial

A prominent Holocaust-denier has made the cover of an EU-funded newsletter, which was published by an avowed German neo-Nazi with a lengthy criminal record. The lack of clear labelling of the MEP behind it violates European Parliament rules.

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. UNESDAMaking healthier diets the easy choice
  2. Nordic Council of MinistersUN Secretary General to meet with Nordic Council on COVID-19
  3. UNESDAWell-designed Deposit Return Schemes can help reach Single-Use Plastics Directive targets
  4. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Council meets Belarusian opposition leader Svetlana Tichanovskaja
  5. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region to invest DKK 250 million in green digitalised business sector
  6. UNESDAReducing packaging waste – a huge opportunity for circularity

Latest News

  1. Nato and EU silent on Turkey, despite Armenia's appeal
  2. EU tells UK to decide on Brexit as deal 'within reach'
  3. EU farming deal attacked by Green groups
  4. France vows tough retaliation for teacher's murder
  5. All eyes on EU court for decision on religious slaughter
  6. 'Big majority' of citizens want EU funds linked to rule of law
  7. EU declares war on Malta and Cyprus passport sales
  8. EU Commission's Libya stance undercut by internal report

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us