Thursday

21st Feb 2019

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

Support quality EU news

Get instant access to all articles — and 18 year's of archives. 30 days free trial.

... or join 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.

Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all

The visit of Austrian chancellor Sebastian Kurz to the White House on Wednesday showed that the current rift in transatlantic relations is deepening by the day.

News in Brief

  1. Juncker pledges climate action alongside Swedish activist
  2. Swedbank brings in external help on money laundering revelations
  3. No-deal Brexit danger 'very serious', Corbyn says after Brussels meeting
  4. Tusk to back pro-EU candidates in Polish EP vote
  5. Germany rejects UK appeal on Saudi arms sales
  6. French senators decry 'dysfunction' on Macron security aide affair
  7. France to ban far-right groups over antisemitism
  8. Swedish climate activist to face Juncker in Brussels

Stakeholders' Highlights

  1. Nordic Council of MinistersMilestone for Nordic-Baltic e-ID
  2. Counter BalanceEU bank urged to free itself from fossil fuels and take climate leadership
  3. Intercultural Dialogue PlatformRoundtable: Muslim Heresy and the Politics of Human Rights, Dr. Matthew J. Nelson
  4. Platform for Peace and JusticeTurkey suffering from the lack of the rule of law
  5. UNESDASoft Drinks Europe welcomes Tim Brett as its new president
  6. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic ministers take the lead in combatting climate change
  7. Counter BalanceEuropean Parliament takes incoherent steps on climate in future EU investments
  8. International Partnership For Human RightsKyrgyz authorities have to immediately release human rights defender Azimjon Askarov
  9. Nordic Council of MinistersSeminar on disability and user involvement
  10. Nordic Council of MinistersInternational appetite for Nordic food policies
  11. Nordic Council of MinistersNew Nordic Innovation House in Hong Kong
  12. Nordic Council of MinistersNordic Region has chance to become world leader when it comes to start-ups

Latest News

  1. Microsoft warns EU on election hack threat
  2. Brexit talks to continue after May-Juncker meeting
  3. Trump and Kurz: not best friends, after all
  4. EU commission appeals Dieselgate ruling
  5. 'No burning crisis' on migrant arrivals, EU agency says
  6. 'No evidence' ECB bond-buying helped euro economy
  7. Juncker: Orban should leave Europe's centre-right
  8. College of Europe alumni ask rector to cut Saudi ties

Join EUobserver

Support quality EU news

Join us