Thursday 2 April 2015 8:37 am

EU immigrants contribute £463 per second to the UK economy

European immigrants generate a whopping £463 per second in revenue for the exchequer, according to a new report commissioned by Rapid Formations.

Once the costs of government spending on immigrants are taken into account, migrants generate a net benefit to the economy of £55 per second. The study comes as the General Election gets into full swing, with immigration ranking as the second most important issue to voters.

Ukip has made much of its gains in the polls over the past two years by capitalising on public feeling that immigrants cost society more than they benefit it. But according to experts cited by Rapid Formations, EU migrants contribute 13.5 per cent more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

Looking at the makeup of EU immigrants in 2013, the bulk came from Spain, Poland and France. Far from the popular stereotype of all immigrants as low-skilled workers, the study found that a third of workers from the EU are in professional and managerial jobs.

The most popular destinations for the new arrivals were London, Greater Manchester and Birmingham. In these diverse urban areas, people have a more positive attitude toward immigration and Ukip tends to perform poorly at the polls.

The vast majority of EU migrants who came to the UK in 2013/14 – 62 per cent – came to Britain to work. In fact, a third already had a job waiting for them, according to the report.

The entrepreneurial spirit also appears to be stronger among EU migrants than native Brits, with immigrants 6.8 per cent more likely to set-up their own company.

James Howell, director of company formation agency Rapid Formations, said the study confirmed EU immigration had been enormously beneficial to the UK economy.

"Not only are EU migrants better educated and more likely to be employed than UK citizens, but they’re making money – lots of money. That goes on to fuel economic activity, bringing new investment into the country, starting up new companies and creating much-needed jobs," Howell said.

The report said the average EU worker's salary in the UK was £28,699 – 7.6 per cent. The incomes of immigrants are incredibly diverse as the majority fall into the category of being very high skilled or low skilled. 

In 2013/14, 251,000 European immigrants came to the UK. The Conservatives have been roundly mocked by all parties for failing to reduce immigration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands.

However, there is little any government can do to control the flow of immigration from the EU as the free movement of peoples is one of the four fundamental freedoms of the Union.