Migrant workers from the European Union contribute £2,300 more in taxes than the average Brit, a government commissioned study has revealed.
New research carried out by the Migration Advisory Committee on behalf of the Home Office found EU migrant workers pay in £78,000 more than they take out in public services and benefits over their lifetime.
Immigration was a key part of the campaign to leave the bloc, with many dubious claims made over the impact it has had on the country. 45 per cent of Vote Leave Facebook ads were on immigration, including one unfounded claim that “5.23 million more immigrants” are set to move to the UK.
The study comes as Brexit Secretary Dominic Raab confirmed that the UK will hold its line that freedom of movement for EU citizens “will have to end” after Britain’s departure from the bloc, saying it is “not tenable”.
Despite the clear benefits, Raab said a deal with the EU on access rights for people is tied to a trade deal, which would include a “sensible discussion about the visas needed to facilitate the trade”, the details of which are yet to be revealed.
Commenting on the research, lead researcher Ian Mulheirn said: “When it comes to the public finances, European migrants contribute substantially more than they cost, easing the tax burden on other taxpayers.”
Richard Brown, Research Director, Centre for London added: “This report highlights the positive contribution that highly skilled EU workers bring to London’s economy. Yes we need bankers, lawyers, tech specialists, but we also need low skilled workers too.
“Nearly 30 per cent of London’s construction workers are from the EU. A huge number of European workers keep the city’s cafes, restaurants and hotels running. London’s design, artistic and tech start-ups benefit from London’s ability to draw workers from across the continent.
“Expanding the youth mobility scheme to EU workers would enable young Europeans to fill some of the gaps, and changes to the Tier 2 visa system are steps in the right direction – though the process will still be daunting for many small businesses. But we need a flexible system – one which maintains the frictionless movement of people – to help London meet its needs.”