General Article The economic argument

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Perception: Asylum seekers, refugees and migrants are a drain on the UK economy.

Fact: Migrants more than pay their way in our society. Indeed, foreign-born people are a significant economic asset. Without their contribution, the average UK taxpayer would pay an extra penny in every pound in income tax.

A recent Home Office report estimated that foreign-born people - including refugees and asylum seekers - contribute around 10 per cent more to Government revenues than they receive in Government spending, equivalent to £2.5bn a year - or 1p on the basic rate of income tax.(1) Furthermore, Treasury minister Ruth Kelly has stated that the foreign-born population accounted for 10 per cent of UK GDP in 2001.(2) That is five times as much as North Sea oil.(3)

Perception: The cost of the UK asylum system has spiralled out of control and is a burden we cannot afford.

Fact: Less than one-tenth of a penn

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