leady wrote:This is by the official study from 2012, which showed a massive (read trivial) surplus from the immigrants from the former eastern block of £4bn over 10 years since the ascension treaty. The same report showed the real costs of mass unskilled immigration with its massive £256bn deficit for non-EU migrants for the same period (i.e. ex commonwealth that had the temerity to stay and get old whilst bringing their entire extended families over).
Even if I accept that, it doesn't aid the Brexit argument one bit: So non-EU migration (which we could have curtailed at any time) cost us money but EU-migration (which is what Brexit would allow us to curtail) made us money?
The twisted logic at play there reminds me of how Cameron has made it much harder for foreign students to stay in the UK following the end of their studies purely to improve the headline numbers - despite how I think we'd both agree that young, healthy, educated workers are exactly what any economy should be fighting to invite in - but Cameron chooses to appease the Daily Mail xenophobes rather than make the case for doing the right thing for the country and the economy.
And putting all that to one side, I find it hard to accept a purely economic analysis anyhow. So a doctor immigrates and an economist works out they pay in $x more in taxes than they receive in benefits. How do you factor in that they save person X from losing their legs, increasing their quality of life - and meaning they
remain a net tax contributor rather than a massive burden on the state? Or a firefighter immigrates and stops a building burning down, saving the economy £z,000?
And what about the effect of the children of immigrants? Steve Jobs is the child of immigrants; the taxes Apple does pay covers the shortfall of an awful lot of less productive ones...
Anyhow, there have been plenty of threads here about immigration; I don't think we should turn this thread into another one of those.
the nominal top rate in the UK maybe lower, but the boundaries have also sneakily become lowered such that it now catches millions. How much you tax the top 2% + is not irrelevant but its less important than hitting the top 20% with 50%+ incremental tax I suspect is.
Even if I accept that (does it take into account, for example, that the middle classes over the last few decades have tended to be home-owners, and so if they have paid slightly more tax, their properties have gone up in value way more than any loss of income), I don't believe it is true in the US, so your thesis that it is increased taxation of the middle classes that has provoked increased inequality would not seem to hold there:
Federal taxes on middle-income Americans are near historic lows, according to the latest available data. That’s true both for federal income taxes and total federal taxes.
Income taxes: A family of four in the exact middle of the income spectrum filing its taxes for 2013 this filing season paid only 5.3 percent of its 2013 income in federal income taxes, according to estimates from the Urban-Brookings Tax Policy Center (TPC). Average income tax rates for these typical families have been lower during the Bush and Obama Administrations than at any time since the 1950s. (See Figure 1.) As discussed below, 2009 and 2010 were particularly low because of the temporary Making Work Pay Tax Credit.
Overall federal taxes: Overall federal taxes — which include income, payroll, and excise taxes, and imputed corporate taxes — on middle-income households in 2009 were at their lowest levels in decades, according to the latest data from the Congressional Budget Office (CBO).
Federal income taxes on middle-income families have declined significantly in recent decades. In 1998-2000, the years before the 2001 tax cut enacted by President Bush and Congress, the median-income family of four paid roughly 8.0 percent of its income in individual income taxes, according to TPC estimates — a smaller share than in any year since 1967.
The Bush tax cuts further reduced taxes for middle-income taxpayers, and the 2012 “fiscal cliff” bill (the American Taxpayer Relief Act) made these middle-income tax cuts permanent.
TPC estimates that the median-income family of four paid 5.3 percent of its 2013 income in federal income taxes when it filed its return this year.