A recent parliamentary report has accused the UK government of “playing into the hands of those who wanted to inflame tensions” over migration. The report from parliament’s Home Affairs Select Committee has said that the UK government had nothing to counter a stream of untrue stories about migrants. The committee believe that instead of countering the lies, particularly when it comes to Romanians and Bulgarians in the media – David Cameron has rushed through the legislation to make life hard for migrants.
Parliamentary Report: EU Migration Statistics
According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS), there was a net inflow of 212,000 long term migrants to the UK in the year ending September 2013. Mark Harper MP, then Minister of State for Immigration, stated that the Government was still working towards reducing net migration to below 100,000 by 2015. He said the UK has had a “considerable amount of progress” reducing non-EU immigration, but conceded that the UK does not have the same ability to influence EU immigration.
Latest ONS figures show that said 209,000 EU citizens migrated to the UK in the year ending September 2013, up from 149,000 in the previous year. At the same time 244,000 non-EU citizens migrated to the UK in the year ending September 2013, a reduction from 269,000 in the previous year. Mark Harper said that the UK could not control how many people emigrate from the UK—320,000 left the UK in the year ending September 2013, a reduction from 343,000 in the previous year. The headline figure of 212,000 net immigration is an increase on the previous quarter (182,000 in the year up to June 2013) but not as high as the peak of 252,000 in 2010.
EU Migrants Beneficial to UK Economy
The European Commission said in a report back in November 2013 that migrants to Britain from EU countries paid far more tax than they received in benefits so they were therefore an economic bonus. The Commission shares the opinion of many independent economists who believe that migrant workers tend to be young and active and generally contribute more in taxes than they cost in public services. In addition they bring with them many valuable skills. The Commission’s comments come after David Cameron intends to defy European law by restricting benefits to migrants from Bulgaria, Romania and other European countries.
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