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Spanish expats in UK contribute £802 million to British economy

Author:   |  November 3rd, 2017

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While Spaniards living in Britain may not love the rain, there is much about the country they do enjoy.

While Spaniards living in Britain may not love the rain, there is much about the country they do enjoy.

The enduring love affair between Spain and the UK – the occasional Gibraltar-themed spats aside – should serve as a reminder to those who wish to paint a picture of a divided Europe that even countries as ‘different’ as Britain and Spain share a great deal of love, respect and admiration for one another…

The Brits love the Spanish climate, its beaches, its hospitality and, increasingly, its traditional food and wine. Spaniards are enamoured with British history, culture, sense of fairness, liberal economic and working conditions and, also increasingly, its food and beer.

And while the number of Brits living in Spain far outweighs the number of Spaniards living in the UK, the gap has closed somewhat over the past decade as thousands of mostly young Spaniards moved to Britain for work during Spain’s difficult recessions.

Some have moved back now that Spain’s economy has improved, but data from the UK’s HMRC has revealed that a fair amount of Spaniards remain living in Britain – and are having an extremely positive effect on the country.

The HMRC data showed that Spaniards paid £802 million in taxes in the UK in 2014, while claiming just £62 million in benefits. This amounts to a positive net benefit to the UK economy, and places Spaniards sixth overall in the top ten nationalities who contribute taxes to Britain.

This list is headed by the French, who paid a massive £2.3 billion in taxes in 2014, putting them just ahead of the Poles, who paid £2.2 billion. While those two figures are close, the net benefit of French expats in the UK is far higher at a ratio of 25.6 compared to the Poles’ 2.4. The data shows that Polish immigrants are more likely to be on benefits than French immigrants.

Spaniards’ net benefit ratio of 12.9 makes them one of the most positive contributors to the UK’s economy, the HMRC data shows.

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