While Prime Minister David Cameron continues to press for tighter controls against the arrival of EU migrants in the UK, new statistics suggest EU workers are in fact some of the biggest contributors to our economy.
By analysing migrants' share of all public services costs and comparing it to their economic contribution between 1995 and 2011, researchers at University College London showed EU migrants added £4.4bn more to the public purse than they took out over the 17 year period.
By comparison, immigrants from outside Europe made an overall negative contribution of £118bn, while UK-born workers made an even larger negative contribution of £591bn.
Professor Christian Dustmann, co-author of the study, said:
A key concern in the public debate on migration is whether immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems. Our new analysis draws a positive picture of the overall fiscal contribution made by recent immigrant cohorts, particularly of immigrants arriving from the EU.European immigrants, particularly, both from the new accession countries and the rest of the European Union, make the most substantial contributions.This is mainly down to their higher average labour market participation compared with natives and their lower receipt of welfare benefits.
In fact, the report shows the UK government would have to spend £6.8bn on education to match the educational standards brought into the country by the EU migrants.
£1 PER HEAD
Based on the figures provided, MigrationWatch UK calculated that the overall contribution made by EU migrants to the UK amounts to under £1 per head per week.
Sir Andrew Green, chairman of the think tank, told the Today programme: "As for recent European migrants, even on their own figures – which we dispute – their contribution to the exchequer amounts to less than £1 a week per head of our population."
He added that people in the UK would have to decide whether the extra pressure placed by the migrants on services was worth an extra £1 a week.