EU and EEA nationals pay more in tax than claim in benefits

Latest HMRC statistics show that European Economic Area (EEA) nationals in the UK pay more in income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs) than they take out in tax credits and child benefit, with the biggest contributions coming from French and Irish nationals

French nationals paid £1.5bn in income tax in 2013-14, the year for which the analysis is provided, with the money coming from 76,000 individuals. Over the same period 116,000 Irish nationals contributed £1.1bn. In third place, 452,000 Polish nationals were responsible for £934m of income tax, followed by 84,000 Italians at £832m and Germans at 53,000 £772m. The total for all EEA nationals for the year came to £8.5bn.

The analysis makes the point that for nationals of some EEA countries, whilst their income tax contributions are comparatively low, their NICs payments are much higher. The list is headed by Poland, whose nationals paid out £1.25bn in NICs in 2013-14. In contrast, French nationals paid £741m and Irish nationals £714m.

Poland also tops the table for child benefit, with 180,000 Polish nationals claiming £255m. the next biggest claim is from 33,000 individuals from Portugal, who claimed £52m, followed by £51m in payments to people from Lithuania and £38m to 23,000 Irish individuals.

HMRC’s analysis also shows that families with at least one person from an EEA member state make up 7% of families claiming tax credits. Again, Poland’s claims (£127m) are substantially more than the next closest set of EEA nationals, who come from Lithuania and claimed £43m.

HMRC’s Further Statistics on EEA Nationals are here.

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