Immigrants boosted UK tax revenue by $35 billion, report

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Immigrants, mainly from Eastern Europe, have increased tax revenue for British Chancellor of the Exchequer Gordon Brown by about £18 billion pounds (USD $35 billion) since 1998, a report shows.

Ernst & Young ITEM Club said that immigration and a greater number of people older than 50 in the work force added £2 billion to the United Kingdom's Treasury coffers in the year through March 2006, and £1 billion in the previous fiscal year. The bigger labor force will drive economic growth to as much as 2.75% this year.

"Net immigration has touched record levels," Peter Spencer, who runs the ITEM Club, said in a statement today. This has produced "unforeseen and wholly positive implications for the UK economy."

Brown is due to deliver his 10th autumn statement on the economy to Parliament on 06 December. He said on 18 September that the economy will be "stronger and more balanced" in 2006.

The autumn report is published midway between Brown's annual budgets and gives him the opportunity to update economic and fiscal forecasts and to consult on changes to the tax regime.

Brown cited a 2.7% forecast by the International Monetary Fund instead of the 2.5% estimate made in March.

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