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Immigrants to UK pay more in taxes than benefits

Published:Thursday | November 6, 2014 | 12:00 AM
File British Prime Minister David Cameron speaks during a visit to Scottish Widows offices in Edinburgh, where he made an impassioned plea to keep Scotland part of the union.


Economists at University College London say research shows that European Union immigrants to Britain pay more in taxes than they receive from benefits.

European immigrants, both from the accession countries and the rest of the EU, made a positive fiscal contribution of 4.4 billion pounds ($7 billion) over the 17-year period studied. Data showing that immigrants from the 10 countries that joined the EU in 2004 made a positive contribution is important because they have been criticised as being a drain on the economy.

Yesterday's study comes amid political anxiety over EU immigration, with critics seeing immigrants as taking jobs and benefits.

Prime Minister David Cameron has floated the idea of restricting migration within the EU putting him at odds with other members of the 28-nation trading bloc.