Rennie: Immigration is a force for good 

The UK Home Office in London and Willie Rennie MSP.

By Lucy Ashton

Scottish Liberal Democrat economy spokesperson Willie Rennie has today called for the Scottish Government to work with the UK government on targeted measures to encourage immigration to Scotland as he highlighted figures showing that on average each additional EU citizen working in Scotland contributes £10,400 in government revenue.

Mr Rennie also highlighted research which consistently shows that migrants who move for economic reasons are likely to pay more in taxes than they receive in benefits.

Demographic projections suggest that Scotland will see more deaths than births every year for the next 25 years. By 2041 there are projected to be as many as 10,000 more deaths than births that year.

Mr Rennie said: “Immigration and the economy are fundamentally connected. Cutting off the supply of labour that farms, care homes and our NHS relies on was an error of colossal proportions. But the benefits are not just economic. It also harms our universities and leaves us less exposed to the richness of others.

“Foreign nationals who come here tend to be bright, healthy and working. Research across a host of different countries consistently shows that they are not a burden to our welfare, health or education system.

“Migrants are essential for maintaining the population growth, which underpins future economic growth and the sustainability of our public services.

“I want to firmly state that immigration is a force for good for our economy, for a balanced population, to address our demographic challenge, for the health of our public services.

“Unfortunately a sensible discussion about Scotland’s needs has been a casualty of the nationalist’s need to run everything into a war on Westminster.

“Ministers should go to London with concrete proposals for the number of people Scotland needs and work collaboratively with those in business and our universities to make that case.”

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