IMMIGRATION boosts the economy and subsidises the UK’s welfare state, several academic institutions said yesterday, as the proposed cap on immigration came under widespread criticism.
“Immigrants contribute more in taxes than they use in services,” said Sam Bowman of the Westminster-based Adam Smith Institute.
“Home Office research suggests that is equivalent to 1p off the basic rate of income tax,” Bowman explained. “Immigrants don’t drain the welfare state, they subsidise it.”
Earlier in the year the government’s statistics office revealed that foreign-born people are less likely to claim state benefits than their UK-born counterparts in nearly all British regions and countries.
The UK’s engineering sector is set to suffer from the new regulations, the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) said yesterday.
“These changes to the immigration system will not help our engineering sector to contribute to economic recovery in the UK,” said IET director Dr Tony Whitehead.
“We currently have a national shortage of engineers and technicians, which has a negative effect on the UK economy.”
“Populist immigration policies are damaging to economic growth,” said Jens Tholstrup of Oxford Economics, earlier in the week.
Unemployment, currently at 7.8 per cent in the UK, is not exacerbated by large-scale immigration, according to Michael Clemens of the Centre for Global Development.
Following EU expansion in 2004, there was a sudden influx of just under half a million eastern Europeans to the UK.
Yet a Bank of England report in 2007 said that the wave of immigrants “appears to have had little or no discernible effect on the unemployment rate or any other labour market aggregate for that matter.”