Immigrants cost the Exchequer between £4 and £17 billion a year

June 20, 2016

The financial cost of all immigrants taken together amount to between £4 and £17 billion a year. That is the conclusion of a survey of academic work on the subject published by Migration Watch UK today.

A focus on recent EU migration reveals a significant difference as between the EU14 and East European migrants. Migrants from the EU 14 benefit the Treasury by between £1.5 and £3 billion a year. However, East European migration costs between £100 million and £1.5 billion. These are not huge sums compared to annual public expenditure of about £700 billion a year.

The figures are taken from work done by the OECD, CReAM and Migration Watch UK.

As for GDP per capita, the House of Lords found no evidence that there was any significant economic benefit for the existing UK population. A study of East European migration by the NIESR in 2011 reached a similar conclusion.

Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said:

There has been a lazy assumption in much recent comment that immigrants are unquestionably an economic benefit to the UK but this very much depends on where they came from and when they arrived. Of course many immigrants are hard workers and valuable contributors to our society and EU migrants are often particularly valued by their employers. However, in the context of the referendum debate, the overall economic impact of EU migrants is a relatively small part of the picture.

To read the full paper, click here

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