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News ->Migrants make money for the UK

(21st February 2001)

Migrants make money for the UKMigrants to the UK contributed around £2.5 billion to the Exchequer in 1999/2000 according to a report published today by the Home Office. Overall, migrants contributed £31.2 billion in taxes while consuming £28.8 billion in benefits and services, a net fiscal contribution of approximately £2.5billion. This equates to around 1p on the basic rate of income tax.

In the 'The migrant population in the UK: fiscal effects' report, Paul Wiles Director of Research at the Home Office states "The public debate over migration into the UK is often over-simplistic and ill informed, sometimes distorted by myths about the extent to which migrants draw on the welfare system, and without sufficent appreciation of the benefits they can bring."

The report also indentifies the fact that individuals who are better qualified and fluent in English will perform better economically, and therefore fiscally, than their less-skilled counterparts. Policies designed to improve migrants' social and economic potential, for example, by improving levels of skills and English language proficiency and by tackling social exclusion are likely to help.

This paper concludes that, overall, the current population of first-generation migrants in the UK perform well economically and make a net fiscal contribution. However, some do less well economically than others.

Home Office Minister Lord Rooker said: "This is an important piece of research that has helped shape the development of our new approach to inward migration. Its influence can clearly be seen in the proposals contained in the White paper. This is, of course, only one aspect of the contribution that migrants make to the UK. Migrants bring diverse skills and experience to boost the UK economy. They set up new businesses and create new jobs. Inward migration can also increase our gross domestic product (GDP) and our income. And just as important is its social and cultural impact on our economy making us a richer and more diverse place to live. "

You can download the 'The Migrant population in the UK:fiscal effects' report from the Home Office website.


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