Why should I pay for migrants from the EU to come here and live off benefits?

You do not.  In the years up to 2011, EU citizens living here (but not born in the UK) contributed £4.96 billion more to the UK economy than they took out in public services, such as through the NHS, education, or welfare.[1]

People coming to Scotland cannot simply claim benefits immediately, despite the impression sometimes given in parts of the press.  People from other EU countries living in Scotland can, quite rightly, access benefits, the NHS and education on the same basis as Scots.  For those opposed to the EU to claim that this is somehow a drain on resources is grossly offensive.

EU nationals contribute and create far more wealth for the Scottish economy than they "take".

These rights go both ways.  A survey conducted by the Guardian identified at least 30,000 unemployed UK citizens accessing benefits across the EU.[2]  The number of EU citizens claiming anything is actually far more limited than the impression often given.  Around 15% of working age UK nationals claim Department of Work and Pensions benefits, twice the figure, at 7%, of working age non-UK nationals from the EU.[3]

There are currently around 181,000 EU citizens living in Scotland.[4] These men and women make a huge contribution, not just economically but culturally.  They choose to live in Scotland and raise their families here.  However, cultural and social arguments are often drowned out by a false financial case and a mean-spirited mentality that we in the SNP entirely reject.



Did you know?

Recent calculations have shown that EU immigrants make a net contribution to the UK of £4,775,341 per day or, to put it in stark terms, £55 per second to the public purse.[5]