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EU immigrants add 5 billion pounds to UK economy

Staff writer |
New research says that European Union immigrants contribute more to state than they take. A new paper from University College London's Centre for Research & Analysis of Migration has found that EU immigrants made a net positive impact on the UK's economy.

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Up to 2011, immigrants from the 10 member states that joined the EU in 2004 and 2005 generated 4.96 billion pounds more in taxes than they received in public spending.

The 10 countries who joined the EU during 2004-05 include the likes of Romania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic. The figure of 4.96 billion pounds takes into account expenditure on both variable and fixed costs.

Variable costs are those that increase as the population increases, such as health services or education. Fixed costs are those that remain the same. And if fixed costs such as the armed forces are excluded from the calculations, the net benefit more than doubles to 10.5 billion pounds.

The "net fiscal contribution of EEA [European Economic Area] immigrants is positive in all years from 1996 to 2011 (except 2009, when it is zero)" the report states, "even in those years in which the native net fiscal contribution is negative."

In the worst-case scenario the academics writing the paper estimated the total cost of non-European Economic Area (EEA) immigrants could be up to 150 billion pounds from 1995-2011, while EEA immigrants would cost up to 8 billion pounds.

However in two scenarios which assume better circumstances, and therefore lower costs, immigrants from the EEA would have made around a 3 billion pounds contribution to the UK.

To put that in context, UK citizens cost almost 600 billion pounds in the years 1995-2011.

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