There will be a rather mellow feeling in UKIP HQ today as latest figures show that the UK treasury gains £20bn from European Migrants.
The figures show that European migrants contribute to our economy more than many of us are led to believe. The UK receives much more from European migrants in terms of tax than it gives out in state benefits.
Census 2011 figures show that European residents make up 4% of Lincoln’s population; the figure has risen since and is expected to stay stable over the next few years.
We should be proud of the contribution the European society makes across the UK and especially here in Lincoln.
The suggestion that people come over to this country solely to seek benefits is ridiculous. The announcement of the latest figures shows that the majority of European migrants coming to the UK are honest hardworking people who make a massive contribution to our economy and are an asset to Britain.
The research carried out by University College shows Britain is more successful than Germany at attracting the best professionals Europe has to offer. 60% of new migrants from western and southern Europe are university graduates.
Educational standards of Eastern Europeans who come to Britain are also improving with 25% of recent arrivals having completed a degree, compared with 24% of the UK-born workforce.
The report shows that European migrants made a net contribution of £20bn to UK public finances between 2000 and 2011. Those from the original 15 EU countries, including France, Germany and Spain, contributed 64% – £15bn more in taxes than they received in welfare while east European migrants contributed 12%, equivalent to £5bn more.
The argument that migrants come to the UK to do jobs that Brits refuse to do is blown out of the water by this latest report from UCL. Skilled individuals from overseas are seeing the opportunities Britain has to offer.
UKIP and other euro-sceptic parties will not be happy with the release of this report ahead of the by-election in Rochester and Strood. Nigel Farage and his party suffered another blow last week as support for staying in the EU hit a 23-year high.
The scaremongering about how migrants are ruining our economy will simmer down for now, but there is no doubt euro-sceptic supporters will respond sooner rather than later.
Britain is attracting skilled professionals from all over Europe simply because of the opportunities that are available here. The figures show that people want to come to Britain and work hard in industries which require professionally skilled workers at the highest level.
Lincoln has attracted many European migrants over the years and even more so since 2011; more does need to be done to integrate communities, but we should be proud that our neighbours make a huge contribution to our economy.