Response to Cameron's immigration speech

14 April 2011

Sam Bowman, Head of Research at the Adam Smith Institute, said:

“Any argument that immigrants create unemployment uses the same flawed logic that says that open trade makes us poorer.

“In the long run, immigrants increase native wages. Technological advancement and the entry of women into the labour force displaced workers and created frictional unemployment, but ultimately created large gains in per capita income. The same is true of immigrants.

“Fears that immigration creates a drain on the welfare state are misguided. Immigrants contribute more in taxes than they use in services. Home Office research suggests that is equivalent to 1p off the basic rate of income tax. Immigrants don't drain the welfare state, they subsidise it.”

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