EU Migrant Workers Contribute £2.3K More a Year to Britain Than UK Citizens
People from the EU pay £78,000 more than they take out over a lifetime.
Britain yawns, and stretches its arms once more to greet another warm September morning — before reality snatches away its slumber with the predictable drone of late-night radio DJ and very-occasional MEP Nigel Farage on BBC Radio 4.
“Can we just be clear about this — these accusations of narrow mindedness!” Farage barks into an obliging Today Show mic, after he met the first mention of “hate crime” with a sigh of pantomime proportions. “A very clear, solid, large majority of the British people... want immigration reduced — and many of them want it reduced substantially.”
While his comments from Tuesday morning are fundamentally untrue, he accidentally touched on an important point: it is not well understood in Britain how migration can be a force for good.
But a report also released on Tuesday aims to clear a few things up.
The Migration Advisory Committee found that migrants from the European Economic Area (EEA) — a collection of every EU country, also including Iceland, Liechtenstein, and Norway — contribute £2,300 more a year to the UK than the average British citizen.
That’s about £78,000 over a lifetime, helping prop up services like the NHS and our lifesaving UK aid budget.
The final figure has already taken into account what EU migrants take in terms of public services and benefits, according to the Independent — so it’s one big net gain. Meanwhile, British adults score a net contribution of zero.
Cancel your meetings and gorge on this graph for a minute:
Published with MAC report: fiscal analysis finding that average EEA adult contributed £2,300 more to UK public finances than the UK average in 2016/17; each extra EEA migrant will make average net contribution of approx £80,000 over their lifetime pic.twitter.com/01hlA0r1u6— MigrationObservatory (@MigObs) September 18, 2018
Basically, the report argues that removing the contribution of EU migrants after Brexit would be equivalent to a huge tax hike on the rest of us.
Oxford Economics, who led the research, concluded that it’s the equivalent of an extra 5p on every pound paid in income tax.
“When it comes to the public finances, European migrants contribute substantially more than they cost, easing the tax burden on other taxpayers,” said lead researcher Ian Mulheirn. “What’s more, this strongly positive average contribution persists over a lifetime: most migrants arrive fully educated, and many leave before the costs of retirement start to weigh on the public finances.”
“If the UK’s new relationship with Europe involves reduced migration, this analysis suggests the tax burden on others will have to rise,” he added.
The Migration Advisory Committee published a major report today, and these are the findings.— James Felton (@JimMFelton) September 18, 2018
If you still want to stop or massively curb immigration, you’re running out of reasons that aren’t “I’m a bit racist to be honest”. pic.twitter.com/eJv8oyiGxq
The Migration Advisory Committee have therefore recommended that the government “makes it easier” to settle high-skill workers from the EU.
Right now only 20,700 high-skilled workers are allowed into the UK every year. The report urged the government to scrap that cap altogether, but also stated that other EU workers should be given “no preference” after Brexit, similar to the present system in Canada. Meanwhile, net migration from the EU is at its lowest level since 2012.
A home office spokesperson said the government will “carefully consider” the proposals.
Report from Migration Advisory Committee calls on government to 'make it easier' for high-skilled workers to settle in the UK after Brexit, but says EU citizens should get no preference over those from outside the bloc.— Sky News (@SkyNews) September 18, 2018
🔴 Get live reaction to the report: https://t.co/rGae0IItPZpic.twitter.com/DMT2H3PX7c
It comes as a separate study released on Monday revealed that 40% of British people thought that multiculturalism had undermined UK culture.
The survey — conducted by Institute of Commercial Management (ICM), thinktank British Future, and anti-racism organisation Hope Not Hate — provided a damning insight into public feeling towards how immigration was handled at the very top. Just 15% thought the government had handled it with competence, while more than a quarter thought politicians never told the truth about the issue.
“Immigration is a national issue, but people see it through a local lens,” said co-author Rosie Carter from Hope Not Hate. “Where people live, and their living conditions, makes a real difference – that includes the perceived impact of migration on their community, broader grievances about economic insecurity, and levels of contact with migrants and ethnic minorities too.”