Would proposals to reduce net migration really cost the taxpayer £6bn?


May 19, 2017

Claims that reaching the immigration target will bring a heavy cost to the Exchequer are simply wrong. They are based on unrealistic assumptions that do not reflect the actual policies envisaged. That is the conclusion of a paper issued by Migration Watch UK today (MW409 Would proposals to reduce net migration really cost the taxpayer £6bn?).

The claims are based on long term forecasts by the OBR that assume that:

  • each new arrival has the same economic characteristics (and thus makes the same contribution) as those of similar age in the existing population and
  • any reduction in immigration would apply equally to those contributing and those who do not.

This is clearly not likely to be the case, especially when a major plank of the policy to reduce net migration is to curb the numbers arriving from the EU to do low skilled and low paid work.

Commenting, Lord Green of Deddington, said:

This figure of £6bn is not only dubious, it takes no account of how a post Brexit immigration policy would actually work in reducing immigration by low paid workers. They are of least benefit, indeed many are likely to be a cost, to the British taxpayer. What is more, no account is taken of the additional pressures on housing, health, transport and other public services which are of real concern to peoples everyday lives.

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