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European Migrants Contribute $32 Billion to U.K. Economy, Study Says

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European migrants to the U.K. contribute $32 billion (£20 billion) to British revenues according to new research which rejects claims that new arrivals are a drain on the health and social security system.

The Guardian reported that between 2000 and 2011, migrants from countries such as Germany and Romania contributed far more than they claimed in health insurance and unemployment and other benefits.

Professor Christian Dustmann, co-author of the study, says that one of the greatest concerns in the public debate on migration is “whether immigrants contribute their fair share to the tax and welfare systems,” he said, “This latest study paints a largely positive picture of immigration’s fiscal effects on the U.K.”

European immigrants appear to make the most substantial contributions because of “their higher average labor market participation compared with natives and their lower receipt of welfare benefits,” says the report.

Migrants from the original 15 European Union countries, including France and Germany contributed $24bn more in taxes than they got in benefits while migrants from eastern Europe contributed $8bn more.

The researchers, say their findings showed that the U.K. has continued to attract highly educated and skilled immigrants and immigration’s positive net contribution has helped to reduce the tax burden on native British workers.

[The Guardian]

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Write to Naina Bajekal at naina.bajekal@time.com