OECD says 876,000 Bulgarians to emigrate, but pay for themselves

The OECD says that migrants are finding it easier to get work in the UK than Brits, as it highlights that 12% of Bulgarians plan to emigrate when new EU laws take effect. But they also pay their way in tax contributions...

by Michael Northcott
Last Updated: 19 Aug 2013

The Paris-based think-tank reckons that the best part of a million Bulgarians plans to leave their country when the EU free movement laws that apply to them as new member states become valid. They're not all coming to the UK, but that is a huge labour force about to enter the European market.

Furthermore, in findings bound to give Nigel Farage some fuel to wax lyrical, the OECD has found that even though unemployment in the UK has fallen slightly since the financial crisis, British-born men are finding it harder than migrants to get work in the UK.

Suspiciously, the OECD does not actually provide any figures or empirical evidence to support its claim in its International Migration Outlook, but the report says simply: ‘In countries such as the Czech Republic, the United Kingdom and Poland, the situation has improved for migrants. The foreign-born men have reversed the pre-crisis shortfall and are doing now better than native-born men.’ Guess we’ll have to take their word for it.

The chairman of Migration Watch UK, Sir Andrew Green, also without evidence, said: ‘It is time for a thorough assessment of the impact of immigration on the employment of British workers that this report only touched on. The effects may not show up statistically in a labour force of nearly 30 million but the anecdotal evidence is very strong.’
He adds: ‘What is clear is that British-born workers have hardly benefited from the expansion of employment in the last ten years or so.’ If we were being cynical, we might suggest that if the effects do not show up ‘statistically’ then they are not showing at all…but what do we know?

It is worth noting that the complaint from Green is not that immigrants are simply turning up for dole money and public services: they are actually working for a living. How this can be seen as bad for an economy in which many British workers scorn the lowest paid jobs is a tad confusing. Indeed, the OECD’s report also highlighted that immigrants in the world’s largest economies contribute about the same in tax as they receive in benefits. Some drain on resources.

Migrants’ Rights Network director Don Flynn, says: ‘OECD findings should allay fears that migration has unacceptable negative impacts on the economies of developed countries. 

‘With a high level of male migrant participation rates in economic activity and an upward trend in earning levels the evidence shows migration is a dynamic and positive feature of modern economies and ought to be acknowledged as such.’

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