Business chiefs: UK gains from migrants

Julian Harris
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IMMIGRATION produces huge benefits to the UK, a coalition of business leaders will argue today, urging politicians to “fight the myths” that provoke anti-migration sentiment among voters.

Between 2004 and 2009, migrants from the new EU member states added £5bn to the UK economy, the group says, noting that incomers are net contributors to the state.

“Migrants from the eight EU members who joined in 2004 paid 37 per cent more in taxes than they received in services in the UK between 2004 and 2009,” the Business for New Europe group says.

The pro-European coalition, which also argues for a reformed European Union, adds that benefit rules should be tightened, to reassure Brits that the system is fair.

“Other EU countries have firmer rules, so there is no reason for the UK not to,” said the group’s chairman, Roland Rudd.

All immigrants must have to wait at least three months before being eligible for jobseeker’s allowance, the group will say.