Workers from Poland, Lithuania, Romania and seven other eastern European nations contributed more to Danish welfare between 2009 and 2011 than they received in benefits from the state, a study from the Finance Ministry revealed.
The figures show that eastern Europeans are in Denmark to work and not to exploit Danish social benefits like the SU student grant or unemployment benefits, according to Bo Sandemann Rasmussen, a professor in economics at Aarhus University.
„On the whole, even if some people travel here only to get social benefits, the state gains from employing eastern European workers,” Rasmussen told Information newspaper.
In 2009, the state paid 0.6 billion kroner on benefits like SU, unemployment benefits (dagpenge) and pensions to eastern Europeans from Poland, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Romania, Slovenia, Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Bulgaria with permanent residency in Denmark, but received 1.7 billion kroner in income taxes from the same group. Likewise, in 2011 the state received 2.2 billion kroner from eastern Europeans and spent 0.9 billion on them.
Welfare tourism may be a myth
The study follows last month’s news that, despite oft-repeated concerns, eastern Europeans have not brought down wages for manual workers.