The British Government is running a programme of mass immigration into the UK. In response to criticisms of this policy, the Government claimed that immigration boosted the economy by $13 billion a year. It turns out, though, that the boost is only because of the overall increase in population. Per capita there was no economic gain, but considerable costs in terms of infrastructure.
From a report in the Daily Mail:
"One of Labour's key economic justifications for mass immigration is to be rejected by a major inquiry.
The headline figure used by Ministers against critics of the unprecedented influx of foreign workers to the UK is that they boost the economy by £6billion every year.
But the most in-depth study of its kind by a parliamentary committee will conclude this is not the best measure of the policy's success or failure.
In a blow to the Government, the House of Lords Economic Affairs Committee will say on Tuesday that the amount migrants boost the economy per person - rather than overall - is far more relevant.
Experts say this shows only a tiny net contribution to gross domestic product, worth as little as 28p per week.
This has to be balanced against the enormous strain they place on schools, hospitals and other series - valued at almost £9billion ...
The Treasury says immigrants supported 0.5 per cent of growth in the economy - worth £6billion in 2006. But, at the same time, they have added around 0.5 per cent to the total population ...
This means the contribution per person is roughly the same. But, at the same time, by adding to the number of immigrants in the country, there is more strain on public services.
The committee has also heard the costs to wider society of immigration could easily outstrip the economic benefits.
David Coleman, an Oxford University academic, puts the total annual bill to the taxpayer at almost £8.8 billion.
In a submission to peers, he said there had been an "absent-minded commitment" to increase the population by one million every five years.
Professor Coleman said the costs to the public sector include £1.5billion to run the asylum system, £280million to teach English to migrants and at least £330million to treat illnesses such as HIV.
Immigrant communities are overrepresented in the criminal justice system, he added.
Mass immigration also imposes "congestion costs, diverts investment to new infrastructure and housing, impinges on space and amenity and accelerates the output of waste and greenhouse gas emissions."
One of the Government's own advisers concluded Britain does not need any more immigrants.
Predicting unaffordable house prices and a risk of overcrowding, Lord Turner attacked Labour's "economically illiterate" case for mass migration.
He accused ministers of using arguments, knowing they do not stack up, to justify the influx of newcomers.
Lord Turner, a former CBI director, said: "In general, the language of an absolute 'shortage' of workers, of a 'need' for immigrants to fill gaps in the labour market, plays little useful role in the immigration debate and in most cases is simply economically illiterate." "