EU immigration to the UK has not harmed British peoples’ access to jobs, public services or incomes, a major study has concluded.
The report, by the London School of Economics, has dispelled a number of ‘myths’ or misconceptions about the impact of immigration on the UK. It has been published as part of a series of research publications to be released between now and the EU referendum on 23 June.
Key findings have included that wage variations for British workers have little correlation to immigration rates and are instead primarily linked to overriding economic factors such as the global economic crisis. The report’s authors also state that rather than being a burden on resources, immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in public services and play a vital role in reducing the budget deficit.
Report author Jonathan Wadsworth said: “The bottom line, which may surprise many people, is that EU immigration has not harmed the pay, jobs or public services enjoyed by Britons. EU immigrants pay more in taxes than they use in public services and therefore they help to reduce the budget deficit.
“So, far from being a necessary evil that we pay to get access to the greater trade and foreign investment generated by the EU single market, immigration is at worse neutral and at best, another economic benefit.”
The 9 biggest myths debunked by the research are:
1) EU immigrants come to the UK to claim benefits
They are less likely to claim benefits than British born citizens are
2) EU immigrants are a drain on the economy
They are more likely to create jobs by using local shops and other services, which increases demand for goods and services, in turn creating more employment opportunities
3) EU immigrants are responsible for high unemployment rates
Areas with high immigration do not have higher rates of unemployed British people than other areas with less immigration
4) Wage drops are due to EU immigration
The biggest cause of recent reduction in real wage value has been the global economic crisis and shows no relationship with immigration
5) EU immigrants are a drain on public services like hospitals and schools
They contribute more in tax than they use in public services
6) Staying in the EU means there is a risk the refugee crisis will spread to the UK
Refugees living in other EU countries, such as Germany, have no right to enter the UK
7) EU immigrants are uneducated and unskilled
On average they have higher education attainment levels than British born citizens do
8) EU immigration brings crime to the UK
There is no evidence that crime levels increase in line with the number of immigrants living in an area
9) Leaving the EU would stop immigration
Any countries accessing the Single Market must allow free movement of EU citizens whether in the EU or not
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