Institute to research benefits, costs of immigration

25th September 2009, Comments 0 comments

A multicultural institute hopes a well-researched study of the benefits and costs of immigration will help prevent strained debates among Dutch political parties.

Amsterdam – An Amsterdam-based multicultural institute will look into the costs and benefits of immigration into the Netherlands, following the government’s refusal to do so.

The study, which is now commissioned by Forum, aims to get the facts out in the open.

Forum's director Sadik Harchaoui told Trouw he has no intention of straying into political minefield. Instead, clear facts would help "prevent navel-gazing and strained debates" in the lower house and keep the discussion unbiased.

He also intends to study the benefits of immigration unlike the request presented by the anti-immigration Freedom party who only wants to examine the cost of immigration. 

In July, the Freedom party asked the government to calculate exactly how much non-western immigrants cost Dutch society. The request was rejected by Integration Minister Eberhard van der Laan in early September.

Van der Lann had said: "We don't calculate the cost of people."

The multicultural institute has asked economist Peter Nijkamp at the Free University in Amsterdam to collect and present the data.

Professor Nijkamp who has been involved in scores of immigration impact studies around the world, said he is amazed that facts and figures about immigration are considered a taboo in the Netherlands.

Radio Netherlands / Expatica

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