POLITICS

Do Migrants Really Cost Britain £120 Billion? Here's What You Need To Know

05/11/2014 12:33 GMT | Updated 05/11/2014 12:59 GMT
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Britain's Prime Minister David Cameron talks with United Kingdom Border Agency officials in their control room, during a visit to Terminal 5 at London's Heathrow airport, Monday Oct. 10, 2011. Cameron met border staff and viewed the latest facial recognition technology used at passport control, ahead of a major speech on immigration. Around 150 people are refused entry to the United Kingdom each week, and about 350 are stopped for questioning.(AP Photo/Richard Pohle, pool)

Two University College London academics published a report today about the cost of migration, which the newspapers have used to reach radically different conclusions.

"UK gains £20bn from EU migrants," the Guardian reported, the Independent went with: "EU migrants add £20bn to the economy in a decade".

Meanwhile other papers like the Telegraph raged about the "£120bn cost of Labour's policy on immigration".

However, the report's authors are not impressed with the Telegraph's headline. Professor Christian Dustmann, director of the Centre for Research and Analysis of Migration (CReAM), told the Huffington Post UK it was "kind of ridiculous and suggests they really didn't read our paper".

See also: Immigrants From Eastern Europe Pay 12% More In Taxes Than They Receive In Benefits

With politicians like Ukip leader Nigel Farage warning that immigration "is going to get bigger" as an issue, Prof Dustmann says the headline conclusion of his study is that recent migrants "have made a substantive net fiscal contribution" to Britain.

"The debate is about recent immigration, that's why we focus on recent immigrants," the UCL academic explains, "they guys pay more than what they take out."

Jonathan Portes, director of the National Institute for Economic and Social Research, told HuffPost UK: "There are lots of numbers in this report so its quite easy for people to pick the number they want."

"The report clearly shows that the contribution from recent immigrants is considerable," he added.

Here is what you need to know about the heavyweight report showing that recent migrants more than pay their way.

Making Sense Of The UCL Migration Study