Geert Wilders' anti-immigration party PVV has asked a number of government ministers to calculate exactly how much non-western immigrants cost Dutch society, Trouw reports on Wednesday.On the face of it it is a bit of a petty, unsympathetic initiative. But given the fact that out governments (the one in The Hague as well as the one in Brussels) are pushing mass-migration as the single most important cure for the ills of an aging population, the answer to that question is rather important.
The finance, social affairs, health, housing, education, economic affairs and defence ministries have all been asked by PVV MP Sietse Fritsma to calculate how much immigrants cost their departments and how much they contribute in terms of taxes.
'The core of Fritsma's questions is: The Hague spends relatively more on non-western immigrants and gets little back,' Trouw states.
The paper says Fritsma has asked the tax office to calculate how much non-western immigrants pay in taxes compared with the native Dutch. The education ministry has been asked how much it spends on catching ethnic minority truants.
And the health ministry has been asked to say how much more money it spends on non-westerners because they are more likely to visit the doctor.
The party has asked for the calculations to be based on government spending over the past five years with a forecast for the next five.
Trouw says it is unclear if individual ministries will cooperate with the PVV's requests or whether ministers will prepare a joint statement.
However, I would be surprised if any cooperation from the ministries that received requests for information is forthcoming. In the past a number of studies have been carried out, all coming up with a negative answer.
See for instance this three page report (pdf, NL) from 2002, which concludes that your average non-western immigrant into Holland benefits society slightly more then zero in the best of circumstances. The older, or younger, an immigrant is, the more negative his/her contribution to society will be (see the graph above, reproduced from the report). The report notes that the possibilities to select immigrants is virtually impossible, what with family accompanying the immigrant hopeful. An average family arriving in the Netherlands from non-western societies are calculated to have a net benefit to the Dutch public sector of about -250,000 euros (-350,000 dollars US). The report is rather aptly titled 'The more, the less merry'.
[UPDATE001] Bravely, and rather unexpectedly I think, the liberal conservative VVD is supporting the PVV. Over on the Dagelijkse Standaard (NL) VVD MP Paul de Krom published a statement on behalf of the VVD:
It seems to me perfectly logical to honestly lay out the costs and benefits of immigration to the Dutch population and tax payers.
[UPDATE002] And hop: The (an?) answer is in. According to Elseviers Syp Wynia (NL video) the costs of immigration are 12.7 billion euros for this year alone. Over the last 40 years, the net benefit of immigration was some 200 billion euros (280 billion dollars US) negative income. Two-hundred-billion euros that can not be spent on taking care of the elderly or revising the system so mitigate the effects of an aging population. Fortunately we have all those undereducated muslims to take care of us when we grow old, right? Right?