What have the immigrants ever done for us?
Rather a lot, according to a new piece of research
PESKY immigrants. They move to Britain, taking jobs, scrounging welfare benefits, straining health services, overrunning local schools and occupying state-subsidised housing. That, at least, is the story recounted by politicians from the UK Independence Party (UKIP) and, increasingly, by members of the Conservative Party. A new study by two economists tells a very different tale.
Concern about the economic impact of immigration has centred on two areas: the effect foreigners have on native workers'wages and employment; and the extent to which immigrants, in particular those from countries within the European Union who are free to move around at will, take from a system to which they have contributed little. Research by Christian Dustmann of University College London and Tommaso Frattini of the University of Milan focuses on the second.
By calculating European immigrants'share of the cost of government spending and their contribution to government revenues, the scholars estimate that between 1995 and 2011 the migrants made a positive contribution of more than 4 billion to Britain, compared with an overall negative contribution of 591 billion for native Britons. Between 2001 and 2011, the net fiscal contribution of recent arrivals from the eastern European countries that have joined the EU since 2004 has amounted to almost 5 billion. Even during the worst years of the financial crisis, in 2007-11, they made a net contribution of almost 2 billion to British public finances. Migrants from other European countries chipped in 8.6 billion.
通过计算欧洲移民在政府支出所占份额和他们对政府收益所作的贡献，学者们估计在1995年和2011 年间，相较于英国本国人所做的5910 亿英镑的负面贡献，移民对英国做出了至少40 亿英镑(约合64 亿美元)的正面贡献。在2001 至2011 年间，从自2004 年加入欧盟的东欧国家来的新移民所做的净财政贡献总计50 亿英镑。即便是在金融危机最糟糕的2007至2011 那几年，他们对英国公共财政的净财政贡献也有将近20 亿英镑。从欧洲其它国家来的移民所作贡献零零散散也有86 亿英镑。