• Sweden's news in English
 
app_header_v3

Sweden data debunks UK migration fears

AFP/The Local · 14 Jan 2014, 15:25

Published: 14 Jan 2014 15:25 GMT+01:00

Bulgarian and Romanian migrants contribute more than they cost to Western European economies, which should stand as a lesson to the wary UK which stands to benefit the most from an influx,  a Swedish economist said Tuesday.

Joakim Ruist, a researcher at Gothenburg University, did precise calculations for Sweden, where Bulgarians and Romanians have worked freely since joining the EU in 2007, and estimates for 14 other EU member states.

"My findings clearly show that the fears that are currently expressed in other European countries of unrestricted immigration from Romania and Bulgaria imposing a heavy burden on the welfare state are unfounded," Ruist said in a statement.

The report came one day after EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor said that migrants contribute more than they take in their new countries and tend not to take jobs away from host workers.

In Sweden, one of the EU's most generous countries with its immigrants, and also the one with the largest gap between national and immigrant unemployment figures, Bulgarian or Romanian migrants contribute to the state 30 percent more than they cost, according to the economist.

"This positive result is due to migrants receiving substantially less welfare benefits and being subject to substantially less public spending," Ruist said. "This more than outweighs the fact that they earn less and hence pay less in taxes than the population on average."

The researcher argued that the UK and Ireland are among the countries that benefit most from this immigration, since they a have well-known language and "smaller welfare sectors".

The EU migration issue heated up sharply ahead of January 1st when Bulgarians and Romanians got full rights to free movement in the European Union, sparking fears of a massive influx of migrants living on the state or taking jobs away from locals.

In response to calls for limits, the UK rushed through measures in December restricting access to unemployment handouts for new EU migrants but the feared flood of Romanians and Bulgarians notably failed to materialize.

Sweden joined a long list of critics of the British government's handling of immigration fears, with Swedish Prime Minister Fredrik Reinfeld voicing his concern last year and telling his UK counterpart David Cameron that the fear of welfare abuse had proved unfounded in Sweden.

"We didn't see this big social tourism that everyone warned us about, and it might be wise to share that experience with others," Reinfeldt told Sveriges Radio (SR) earlier last year. Sweden's Social Affairs Minister Göran Hägglund was equally if not more critical.

"I think it's a terrible way to express oneself. I think (Cameron's) speech is very, very unfortunate," Hägglund told SR, specifically, taking issue with how Cameron "pitted us against them" when speaking of migrants.

The new Swedish study used as a sample a fifth of the 10,000 Bulgarians and Romanians who lived in Sweden at the end of 2011, comparing their contributions via taxes with their use of public services, such as social benefits, health care, and education.

AFP/The Local (news@thelocal.se)

Your comments about this article

Today's headlines
Swedish premier pledges 5,000 'emergency' jobs
Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, speaking in Gothenburg. Photo: TT

Swedish prime minister, Stefan Löfven, speaking in Gothenburg, announced a initiative to create 5,000 new 'emergency' jobs for new arrivals to the country.

Sweden's king celebrates 70th birthday
King Carl XVI Gustaf joins in with a rendition of All You Need Is Love with the Tensta Gospel Choir and their leader Cedwin Sandanam. Photo: TT

But Norwegian royals stay at home after deadly helicopter crash.

'Disgusted' Swedish boxer retains world crown
Badou Jack (right) catches Lucian Bute with a right-hand. Photo: TT

Badou Jack drew bout but kept World Boxing Council title.

PLO seeks apology over Sweden Eurovision flag ban
Sweden was the first EU member state in Western Europe to officially recognise the State of Palestine. Photo: TT

First it was the Basques...

Brussels attacks
Swedish terror suspect 'dumped bomb in toilet'
Osama Krayem. Photo: Facebook

Belgian media report that Osama Krayem tried to dispose of the explosives before carrying them onto the Brussels metro system.

Eurovision 2016
Regional politicians hit out at Sweden's Eurovision flag ban
Lots of flag-waving at Eurovision. Photo: AP Photo/Kerstin Joensson

Spanish politicians have criticized Swedish Eurovision organizers after a regional flag was banned alongside that of Isis from the competition in Stockholm.

Eight charged over shooting at Gothenburg restaurant
People leaving flowers at the scene of the fatal shooting last year. Photo: TT

The attack last spring left two people dead in one of the most high-profile shootings in Sweden in recent years.

Swedes want answers from Russia after Nato warning
Russian T-14 Armata tanks make their way to Red Square during a rehearsal for the Victory Day military parade in May. Photo: Alexander Zemlianichenko/AP

UPDATED: What exactly does Russia's foreign minister mean when he says his country will "take action" if Sweden joins Nato?

Two historic shipwrecks found right in central Stockholm
Divers looking for a ship in central Stockholm. Photo: Anders P Näsberg/Statens maritima museer

Another two shipwrecks dating back to at least the 1600s have been found in central Stockholm.

Alicia Vikander scoops lead role in new Tomb Raider
Alicia Vikander poses at the Scandinavian terrace during the 68th Cannes film festival last May. Photo: Jean Christophe Magnenet/AFP

The next Lara Croft will be a Swede.

Sponsored Article
Kista: The best office space in Sweden?
Analysis & Opinion
Why Sweden's fretting about Brexit
Sponsored Article
Why international researchers love to call Malmö home
National
INTERVIEW: Swedish police officer 'beat me up and used racial slurs'
Gallery
People-watching: April 27th
Blog updates

29 April

Editor’s blog, April 29th (The Local Sweden) »

"Hello readers, Relations between Sweden and Russia went from slightly strained to full-on James Bond this…" READ »

 

18 April

A day as a guard (The Diplomatic Dispatch) »

"Life as an Ambassador. Driven around in the Jaguar. Visits all planned so you go straight…" READ »

 
 
 
Sponsored Article
‘Life in Stockholm’s suburbs is better than people realize’
National
Öresund bridge border checks net record number of drink drivers
Sponsored Article
'A huge waste of resources': how to fix integration
National
Swedes bid farewell to iconic Volvo
Gallery
Property of the week: Enköping
Gallery
People-watching: April 22nd-24th
Sponsored Article
'A sustainable Sweden must embrace diversity'
Politics
Could Brits in Europe stop Brexit?
Sponsored Article
What's the best way for expats to transfer money abroad?
National
The first official picture of Sweden's new royal Prince Alexander
National
Sweden's Sami reindeer still live in the shadow of Chernobyl
Sponsored Article
Sigtunaskolan: 'The best of what Sweden has to offer'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 20th
Sponsored Article
How to launch your international career
National
Why was a Nazi flag hoisted in a Swedish town on Hitler's birthday?
National
How did Sweden's deputy PM get in trouble over New York comments?
Sponsored Article
Becoming an expat: where to start
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 16th-17th
Sponsored Article
'I may work at a Swedish company, but we’re global'
Culture
Sweden finally axes historic dancing ban
Sponsored Article
The Inner Circle: Stockholm's secret dating scene
International
Have you phoned Sweden yet?
Sponsored Article
'Swedes must realize only soft power can defeat radicalism'
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 13th
National
Is booze going up in Sweden?
National
How Sweden's fake 'smombie' traffic sign is being used for real
Culture
Sweden's Tarzan drops trousers
Finest
Gallery
People-watching: April 9th-10th
Sport
Zlatan wants to be new 'Rambo'
National
Swedes in a huff about giant TV penis
3,233
jobs available
PSD Media
PSD Media is marketing company that offers innovative solutions for online retailers. We provide modern solutions that help increase traffic and raise conversion. Visit our site at:
psdmedia.se