The Islamic Human Rights Commission welcomes today’ findings by the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration that recent immigrants have made a net economic contribution to the UK.
The findings, based on the most comprehensive study in recent times to have tried to quantify the economic impact of immigration to the UK, prove beyond doubt that modern immigration has been beneficial to the nation’s economy.
Calling the contribution of immigrants “remarkably strong”, the study should also put to bed racist tropes about immigrants using the UK for so-called benefit-tourism; the study found that immigrants who arrived after 1999 were 45% less likely to receive state benefits or tax credits than UK natives.
Much of the hysteria whipped up around immigration has its origins in the expansion of the European Union and the arrival of immigrants from the continent. Hardly a day goes by without the right-wing press reporting a new way in which Romanians, Bulgarians or Poles are screwing the British taxpayer. However the study is unequivocal about the benefits of European immigration to the UK: arrivals from the European Economic Area were found to have contributed 34% more in taxes than they received in benefits.
These findings vindicate the position of organisations like IHRC which have long believed that immigration is being cynically exploited by politicians of all major parties to divert public attention from real and more immediate concerns about the economy, the NHS and social equality.
IHRC chairman Massoud Shadjareh said: “What the study illustrates is that the rabid xenophobia around immigration has no basis in fact. Instead of dealing with the real issues affecting the British population, our politicians are pandering to an underlying racism in society by making a lot of noise about something that doesn’t exist.”
“This baseless hype about the cost of immigration has serious repercussions for policy, public perception and on immigrants in general in the form of discrimination and even violence,” he added.
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IHRC is an NGO in Special Consultative Status with the Economic and Social Council of the United Nations.
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