Home Office: migrants work harder, earn more and pay more tax than Britons

Migrant workers contributed £6 billion to the country's economic growth last year and earned higher wages than their British counterparts, Home Office figures revealed yesterday.

The study concluded that new arrivals were harder-working, brought sought-after skills and paid more in tax than they used in public services.

The population rose by 189,000 last year, with 574,000 migrants arriving and 385,000 people leaving. The steady increase over the last decade has led to warnings that the country cannot cope with the growth. But the Government figures suggested migration was throwing a life-line to an economy suffering skills shortages and struggling to support a growing bill for pensions.

It was calculated that new migration accounted for about one-sixth of Britain's economic growth, equivalent to £6 billion last year. The Home Office said the newcomers had "high levels of skills – higher on average than the UK natives" and that employers found migrant workers "reliable and hard-working".

It reported that migrants earned on average £424 per week last year, compared with £395 for UK-born workers, and as a result paid more per head in tax and VAT than Britons. It also suggested that the work ethic of the new arrivals was also having a positive impact on British workers, helping to increase their pay levels.

The Home Office said research showed migrants contributed 10 per cent of Government revenue, but used only 9.1 per cent of expenditure in such areas as schools or hospitals.

It said: "In the long run it is likely the net fiscal contribution of an immigrant will be greater than that of a non-immigrant."

The proportion of foreigners in the workforce has nearly doubled in recent years, but employment has increased by 2.7 million, rebuffing claims that dole queues had lengthened because of migration.

"Concerns that native workers would be displaced by migrant workers... seem ill-founded as migrant workers appear to have complementary skills to the native labour force," it said. Liam Byrne, the Immigration Minister, sounded a cautious note about the figures. "The UK economy and the Exchequer over the long run clearly profit from migration," he said. "But we need to strike a new balance in migration policy where we set benefits alongside what we know about the wider impact of migration."

Danny Sriskandarajah, migration research fellow for the Institute for Public Policy Research, said the figures were positive. "Immigrants bring immense benefits to the UK economy. Let's hope our political leaders pay more attention to this positive evidence than to anecdotes about negative impacts when designing migration policies," he said.

But David Davis, the shadow Home Secretary, said that relying on immigration to boost the economy was "a short term answer" and said the Government should concentrate on finding work for the 1 million economically inactive under 25s in Britain.

And Sir Andrew Green, chairman of MigrationWatchUK, which campaigns against mass immigration, dismissed the importance of the figures.

"This is an incredibly feeble justification for mass immigration," he said. "In fact, on their own figures the benefit to the native population is trivial. The addition to production is almost exactly the same as the addition to population."

The Home Office published the research ahead of today's meeting of the Government-sponsored Migration Impact Forum, which advises ministers on the effect immigration is having on all aspects of national life. Its conclusions will be studied by ministers when they decide whether to lift the tough restrictions on workers from Romania and Bulgaria, which joined the EU in January.

The forum will be told today that all parts of the country have experienced an increase in numbers of new arrivals from the eight eastern and central European countries that joined the European Union in 2004. All regions reported an economic boost from the newcomers, but concluded some problems of integration and pressure on public services had also begun to develop.

It said community tensions had emerged in areas such as the South-west and Scotland which had not previously experienced large-scale immigration, while several other regions warned of the pressure on the supply of cheap housing.

News
people

Actress sees off speculation about her appearance in an amazing way

Arts and Entertainment
Serge Pizzorno of Kasabian and Noel Fielding backstage at the Teenage Cancer Trust concerts
musicKasabian and Noel Fielding attack 'boring' musicians
News
peopleLynda Bellingham's tragic final Loose Women appearance moves audience to tears
Arts and Entertainment
'Right Here' singer Jess Glynne is nominated for Best Newcomer at the MOBO Awards 2014
musicExclusive: Jess Glynne hits out at 'ridiculous' criticism of white artists nominated for Mobo Awards
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
Arts and Entertainment
Separated at birth? Frank Sivero (left) claims The Simpsons based Mafia character Louie on his Goodfellas character
arts + entsFrank Sivero sues Simpsons studio over allegedly basing mobster character on Frank Carbone
News
Carl Bernstein (left) and Bob Woodward (right) with former 'Washington Post' executive editor Ben Bradlee
people

The Washington Post editor helped Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein bring down President Nixon

News
news

Voices
Stephanie first after her public appearance as a woman at Rad Fest 2014
voices

Arts and Entertainment
Laura Wood, winner of the Montegrappa Scholastic Prize for New Children’s Writing
books

Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Database Administrator

£300 - £350 Per Day: Clearwater People Solutions Ltd: The role could involve w...

Science Teacher

£21000 - £35000 per annum: Randstad Education Cambridge: Qualified secondary s...

Deputy Head of Science

£22000 - £36000 per annum + MPR / UPR: Randstad Education Southampton: Our cli...

Finance Manager - Recruitment Business (Media & Entertainment)

£28000 - £35000 per annum + negotiable: Sauce Recruitment: We have an exciting...

Day In a Page

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London