Immigrants contribute well to British economy: Study

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London, Oct 17 (UNI) Foreign workers contributed six billion pounds to the UK economy last year and they earn more and work better than their British counterparts, an official study said.

Migrant workers earned 424 pounds a week on average as against the 395 pounds earned by their UK colleagues. Moreover, they have paid more in tax than they consumed in services, the study added.

In 2006, record immigration raised the number of foreign workers from last decade's 7.4 per cent to 12.5 per cent, contributing to one eighth of the total labour force.

Over this period, average output growth was 2.7 per cent a year, with 15 to 20 per cent (700,000 pounds a day) contribution from foreign workers.

Reiterating the ''positive'' effects of immigration on economy, immigration minister Liam Byrne said, ''In the long run, our country and exchequer are better off with immigration rather than without it,'' the Daily Telegraph reported.

The official study which is the first attempt to obtain the economic and financial impact of the immigration said, ''In the long run, it is likely that the net fiscal contribution of an immigrant will be greater than that of a non-immigrant,'' adding that there was no evidence of foreign workers pushing British people out of jobs.

However, a separate paper released simultaneously with the study by the Home Office said that there were complaints that the immigration had affected housing and other public services adversely.

The figures used in the study excludes the costs of a growing population, likes the impact on health, education and transport.

Reacting to the ''overwhelmingly positive findings'', professor of economics at Cambridge University Robert Rowthorn said, '' With pressure on services, large-scale migration would undermine the labour market position of the most vulnerable sections of the local workforce.'' Shadow home secretary David Davis, besides, alleged that by equating the effect of migration on aggregate GDP with its effect on GDP per head, the study unheeded the fact that relying on immigration to boost the economy was a short-term answer.

''What will they do for the million economically inactive under-25s in the country?,'' he questioned.

UNI

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