Read the Guardian this morning and you will discover a new study by economists at University College London claims that European migrants give Britain a £20 billion net gain, paying far more in tax than they take in benefits.
Read the Telegraph, however, and their write up of the very same report says the very same experts found that immigration from outside of Europe cost Britain £120 billion. Lots for proponents and opponents of immigration to argue over today.
Cynics might be interested to note the identity of the lead author of today’s report. Christian Dustmann also wrote the ill-judged 2003 Home Office report that played down the numbers of EU migrants that would arrive in the country. Back then the study predicted net immigration following the 2004 EU enlargement “will be relatively small, at between 5,000 and 13,000 immigrants per year up to 2010”. As UKIP and the Tories love to tell us, we now know that net migration from these countries was over 80,000 per year.
Labour’s pro-immigration leadership will be tempted to use today’s report as evidence that they were right all along. Given that its author was the ‘expert’ who told them not to worry about the influx of EU migrants when they were in power – one of the main reasons the party’s working class support is deserting it for UKIP – they might want to be careful. Something to think about when reading today’s report, anyway.