The fiscal consequences of unrestricted immigration from Romania and Bulgaria
Joakim Ruist 18 January 2014
The lifting of transitional access restrictions for Romanian and Bulgarian workers is a hotly debated topic in the EU with big implications for public finances in destination countries. This column presents analysis of immigrants in Sweden, which never imposed access restrictions when these two countries joined the EU. Romanian and Bulgarian migrants to Sweden under this unrestricted regime make a sizeable positive contribution to Swedish public finances. Contributions can be expected to be even larger in the UK and Ireland.
Since 1 January, citizens of Romania and Bulgaria have the same freedom of movement inside the European Union as citizens of other member states. The approaching end to transnational restrictions caused intense public debate in several of the richer EU countries during the past year, stoked by fears that large numbers of poor Romanians and Bulgarians would migrate to the richer EU countries and impose a heavy burden on public finances.
EU policies Europe's nations and regions Migration Welfare state and social Europe
immigration policy, fiscal burden, public finance
The long term economic impacts of reducing migration
Katerina Lisenkova 10 January 2014
Efforts to limit immigration are being implemented in many rich nations. Restricting immigration to these advanced ageing economies could be an economic boon or bane. This column presents recent work examining the labour market and fiscal impacts of restricting immigration, taking the UK government’s stated goal as an example. The results suggest that a significant reduction in net migration would have strong negative effects on the UK economy.
The large influx of immigrants following the accession of eastern European countries to the EU in 2004 brought migration policy to the forefront of the public agenda and political debate. Large net migration flows are a relatively recent phenomenon in the UK; consistent positive net migration numbers have only been observed since the 1990s. During the 2010 election campaign, the senior partner of the current UK coalition government (the Conservative Party) set their migration policy target to reduce the level of net migration from “hundreds of thousands to tens of thousands”.
Europe's nations and regions Labour markets Migration
immigration policy, UK, fiscal burden
The fiscal effects of immigration to the UK
Christian Dustmann, Tommaso Frattini 13 November 2013
The immigration debate has focused on immigrants’ net fiscal impact – whether they receive more in welfare payments and other benefits than they pay back in taxes. This column summarises recent research showing that – contrary to popular belief – immigrants who arrived in the UK since 2000 have contributed far more in taxes than they have received in benefits. Compared with natives of the same age, gender, and education level, recent immigrants are 21% less likely to receive benefits.
The impact of immigration on the tax and welfare system and the net fiscal consequences is perhaps the single most prominent economic issue in the public debate over the pros and cons of immigration. Accordingly, it is the debate about the fiscal effects – and not so much the effects on wages – of immigration that is currently dominating the debate not only in the UK, but also in other countries (see Boeri 2010).
Migration Welfare state and social Europe
welfare state, immigration, migration, benefits, UK, fiscal burden
The fiscal effects of A8 migration to the UK
Christian Dustmann, Tommaso Frattini, Caroline Halls 08 August 2009
Are new immigrants a fiscal burden on incumbent residents? This column looks at Eastern European immigrants in the UK and shows that they are net contributors to public finances because they have a higher labour force participation rate, are likely to pay more in indirect taxes like VAT, and make much lower use of benefits and public services.
Immigration often causes debate in receiving countries about the potentially negative consequences an influx of immigrants may have on the welfare of incumbent residents. Of particular concern is whether immigrants “pay their way” in the welfare system. These fears were echoed in the debate following the 2004 EU enlargement to include Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Slovenia, Slovakia, and Poland.
Europe's nations and regions Migration
EU, migration, UK, fiscal burden