Brussels: Migrants Contribute More Than They Take

Written by | Wednesday, January 15th, 2014

Brussels said on Monday (January 13) that migrants contribute more to their recipient economies than they take from them. The statement comes as a reaction to fears that Bulgarian and Romanian citizens would inundate some of the old member states, notably United Kingdom. EU Employment Commissioner Laszlo Andor said that mobile workers are complements to domestic workers since they do not tend to “steal” jobs from the natives. Mr Andor added that migrants are net contributors to welfare systems of their recipient economies and they in fact pay more in tax and social security than they receive back.
The Commissioner added that it had always been clear that the EU would need to have safeguards in place to prevent abuse of social safety nets in the countries, where migrants come to work. There is also an EU-made handbook defining the measure of “habitual residence” which covers rules of the eligibility for social welfare transfers. Moreover, there are also precise guidelines in the EU legislation, which touches upon the issue of migrants and social payments trying to prevent the abuse.
The issue of the abuse of social benefits by migrants was sparked again at the beginning of January when the transition period for Bulgarians and Romanians expired after seven years since joining the club. The opening of the labour market triggered a great controversy especially in Britain, which is afraid of a sudden influx of migrants just like it was the case with the wave of Polish migrants entering the country a decade ago. As a result of its fears, London called for stricter rules on the eligibility of social benefits for workers that should be imposed by Brussels and at the same time restricted the eligibility for its own domestic unemployment handouts.
Commissioner Andor wrapped up by saying that so far the influx of Bulgarians and Romanians has not materialized. He insisted that this issue should be handled with care and common sense rather than with emotion.

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