Immigrants send 11m home each day
Immigrants working in Britain send the equivalent of a record 11 million a day back home, research by a think tank shows.
Published: 7:00AM BST 01 Jun 2009
A total of 4 billion a year now flows out of the country in remittances after figures almost doubled in a decade, according to Migrationwatch.
And the figure is likely to be an underestimate as it does not include money sent from Britain by unofficial banking channels.
In contrast, just 2.3 billion a year flows in to the country from British ex-pats working overseas.
Migrationwatch said the pattern meant claims that migrants are of economic benefit to the UK were “illusory”.
Sir Andrew Green, the chairman, said: “For years we have been told that immigration can only benefit the economy.
“But when the evidence is examined, that claim falls apart. As employment of foreign born workers has risen, employment of UK born workers has fallen.
“And now we find that remittances have shot up as immigrants have sent savings home. So much for the benefits of uncontrolled immigration.”
Figures from the Office for National Statistics show just over 11 billion was sent home by migrants in the UK in 2007 compared with just over 2 billion in 1998.
This figure is nearly two thirds the amount that the UK Government spends on overseas aid – 6.3 billion in 2008.
In comparison, 4 billion is approximately the cost of the two new aircraft carriers planned for the Royal Navy.
Money sent to the UK from British ex-pats over the same period has remained stable at around 2.3 billion a year, meaning a net outflow of funds of around 4.5 million a day.
Sir Andew added: “We are not suggesting that remittances should be stopped, they are an important source of revenue for many families across the world, but claims that there are only positive economic benefits from mass immigration are clearly untrue and factors such as we describe here clearly point in the opposite direction.”
In a damning report last year, the House of Lords Select Committee on Economic Affairs found “no evidence” that net immigration generates significant economic benefits for the existing UK population.
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