Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Four out of five migrants take more from the British economy than they contribute

James Slack:

The analysis demolishes the Government's key claim that migrants pay more in taxes than they take back in public services.

Instead, a small number of very high earning foreign workers are masking the fact that 80 per cent of immigrants are taking more out of the economy than they contribute over their lifetimes.

Only one in five is earning the £27,000 a year required to make a positive contribution over the course of their lifetime. It means that, if they settle here, they will cost the taxpayer money.

The report's author, Migrationwatch UK, said it proved the case for only highly-skilled economic migrants - such as doctors and engineers - to be allowed to settle in Britain.

It heaps even greater pressure on Home Secretary John Reid to call an end to Labour's 'open door' migration policy.

Sir Andrew Green, Migrationwatch chairman, said: 'The Government and its supporters repeatedly trot out favourable looking statistics which seek to give the impression that immigration in general has a very positive effect on the UK economy.

‘The reality is that immigrants are extremely varied. A minority are highly skilled and highly paid but a large majority will end up as a cost to the taxpayer if they settle here permanently.'

The Government calculates adult migrants make-up 10.6 per cent of the population, but contribute 10.9 per cent of the country's Gross Domestic Product - its total economic output.

This is the basis for its claim they make a 'small but positive' contribution to the economy.

But, using the Government's own Labour Force Survey, Migrationwatch says this calculation fails to show the full picture.

To make a positive contribution to GDP over the course of a person's lifetime, they must earn £27,000 a year.

This is the equivalent of paying £7,600 a year in income tax and other taxation, and would cover the costs of healthcare and other public services into retirement.

Only 20 per cent of migrants achieve this. But, many of those that do - such as financiers, engineers and NHS consultants - earn large amounts of money.

This makes it appear that migrants in general are making a positive contribution to GDP when, in fact, they are only a small minority of the total number.

Some eight out of ten earn less than £27,000, with a large number - including many eastern Europeans - on the minimum wage of less than £10,000 a year.

EU immigration is not the problem

Immigration is not the solution to our skills shortage

We are importing misery and despair


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