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  • Writer's pictureKenneth Gibson MSP

European Migrants’ Positive Contribution to Scotland

European migrants to Scotland have made a more positive fiscal contribution than non-EU migrants and people born in the UK, according to a new study.

The review, The impacts of migrants and migration into Scotland, found that migrants are, on average, younger than the general Scottish population and economically active and healthy, with many sectors of the Scottish economy are reliant on migrant labour, particularly the NHS.

The report found European migrants make a more positive contribution to the public purse, in terms of the taxes they pay and the costs of public benefits and services they receive, than migrants from outside Europe and people born in the UK.

Europeans are also less likely to claim out-of-work benefits than people born in the UK.

Minister for International Development and Europe Dr Alasdair Allan MSP said:

“These figures and the impact report confirm the long standing view of the SNP Government that our migrant workforce makes a positive contribution to our economy and local communities.

“Many sectors of the Scottish economy are reliant on migrants, who also help us to address skills shortages.”

Kenneth Gibson added:

“It is vital that we remain part of the European Single Market to enable the free movement of people who wish to live and work here.

“The SNP Government is working to protect all of Scotland’s interests and considering all possible steps to ensure Scotland’s continuing relationship with the EU.”

The review states that migration does not appear to have had a statistically significant impact on the average wages and employment opportunities of the UK-born population in periods when the economy is strong, although there is evidence of labour market displacement when the economy is in recession.

However, evidence indicates that any adverse wage effects of migration are likely to be greatest for workers who came to Scotland as migrants themselves and that displacement effects dissipate over time, as the labour market adjusts.

The study can be found here.



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