A controversial government review into European migration has encountered something of an obstacle, in the form of home secretary Theresa May.
The Balance of Competences review was due to be released yesterday, as part of a set of documents evaluating the UK's relationship with the EU, but has been delayed by May, reports the Times. Her stalling comes in the midst of an escalating row on benefits tourism.
Benefits Research by former HMRC official Michael O’Connor shows that migrant workers in the UK are far more likely to claim in-work benefits than out of work benefits. They're far less likely than UK nationals to claim incapacity benefits, Jobseeker’s Allowance, lone parent or carer benefits, disability benefits, or bereavement benefits. O'Connor shows that migrants claim working tax credit at a 20 per cent higher rate than natives, and that more claim this specific benefit than all other benefits put together. Deficit down This summer an international study revealed that immigrants have improved the UK's public finances by contributing more to the state than they take out. The Organisation of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that the so-called net fiscal impact of immigrants was the equivalent of 0.46 per cent of GDP – billions of pounds, on average – from 2007-09. The OECD said: “Migration represents neither a significant gain nor drain for the public purse. Immigrants are pretty much like the rest of the population in this respect.” Remittance payments Payments from migrants working in the UK back to their home counties improve life quality and contribute to economic growth. According to a 2008 paper, moving from Haiti, Nigeria or Egypt to the US or UK can boost a migrant’s income by 1,000 per cent. And, approaching $400bn globally, they're also a pretty efficient form of development aid.