Certain right wing press barons repeatedly use fear of migration to push their anti-EU arguments. A recent headline proclaimed that there were now 1.6 million EU migrants in the UK.
Sounds a lot – but as a percentage of the total UK population it comes out at just 2.5 per cent. They did not mention, of course, that a massive 97.5 per cent of the British population are not EU migrants!
According to new research, published in the Economic Journal by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration at University College London, EU migrants paid £25 billion more in tax to the UK treasury than they received in welfare benefits. The £25 billion was accumulated between 2001 and 2011.
The UK economy benefited most from migrants from the western EU countries who contributed 64 per cent more in taxes than they received in benefits, but even migrants from the 10 central and east European countries who joined the bloc in 2004 contributed 12 per cent more than they received.
This contrasts sharply with the owners of the anti-EU press. Some are not even resident in the UK or have been documented as avoiding tax. So we have these wealthy, powerful men seeking to profoundly influence British politics whilst not contributing their fair share to maintaining the NHS, the Armed Forces and other benefits which they enjoy. They are attacking EU migrants who are actually paying their fair share of taxes and not seeking to avoid them!
A P Milroy
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