The phenomenon of migration, which is associated with the globalisation process of the world’s economy, is also reflected in Poland. The emigration of Poles indicates a tendency of temporary or seasonal departures, which is in accordance with the migration trends observed in Europe or throughout the world.
Polish migration to the UK has been a controvertial issue from the start. A comparison of social and economic consequences of emigration from new member countries is rendered to be difficult by the lack of sufficiently reliable data.
But many myths circulate the subject. According to one of them, immigrants take work away from locals. But in fact, there are relatively few highly qualified people among these migrant workers, thus their role in the national economy is a complementary one; they do not compete with the local work force. Another myth states, that the Poles are a permanent burden on the budget of the UK. True, many Poles go to school here, are treated by the NHS and some receive child benefit, but only 3% are eligible for other subsidies. There is an extra burden on local health and education institutions: many of these costs are covered by their £1.9 billion a year contribution to the Exchequer in income tax and national insurance, and that figure does not include their contribution to council tax. The House of Lords committe report, that immigrants contributed around £6 billion annually into the economy. This is however countered by a survey from Western Union according to which 60% of Poles working in the UK send money home. The National Bank of Poland estimates that from 2004-09 about £4 billion was sent to Poland by Polish workers.
It does not seem that the thousands of Polish migrants have had a detrimental effect on the UK’s employment rates. The Institute for Public Policy Reseach states that migration into the UK from Eastern Europe since EU expansion in 2004 has had little effect on the British economy in terms of employment rates...
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