BRITAIN MAKES A STAND AGAINST THE EU OVER BENEFIT TOURISTS – Welfare has become the bane of society with the increased perception of entitlement; but when Britain is forced by the EU, with more legislation that effectively makes any EU members state citizen entitled, goes beyond what anyone would consider acceptable.
Few people realise just how damaging welfare has become to the British economy; indeed Britain’s very financial existence now hangs by a thread through our incessant views that we are entitled to state hand-outs.
Currently the Government is embroiled in an argument with European commissioners after taking measures that will refuse foreign migrants access to state welfare.
EU commissioners state that there is no evidence to suggest that EU citizens are attracted to the UK solely on the basis of its welfare system and that the EU would only consider redrafting legislation if Britain could provide unequivocal evidence that EU citizens are indeed systematically abusing the welfare system.
Despite the EU’s insistence that Britain is breaking a number of laws by not providing state benefits to foreign migrants the Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith, is standing firm that restrictions will remain in place in order to deter foreign migrants from entering Britain with the sole intent of living the good life on the backs of hard working taxpayer’s.
“Our own assessment – our habitual residency test – currently prevents people who could be working and not on benefits from claiming those benefits. It is the Commission that is trying to get us to change that, and I am utterly refusing to do so.” Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith
In a retort to Iain Duncan Smith’s statement, EU commissioners reported that they have continuously, over the last 3 years, asked Britain to provide sustentative evidence of the abuse but have failed to do so at every turn.
Some MPs have defended the current system saying that far more migrants, especially those in younger age groups, come here to work and therefore are a benefit to British society – some even suggest that the amount of taxes paid by foreign immigrants far outweighs the state benefits paid out.
Recently the British Government announced that some 600,000 EU migrants resided in the UK who did not work and therefore are supported by the taxpayer. It is expected that this figure will grow exponentially once the Right of Free Movement comes in to full force in January 2014.
Regardless of these figures, EU commissioners are adamant that this does not provide sufficient evidence and indeed did not show a breakdown in the populace, for instance schoolchildren, students and spouses of migrant workers and indeed those who are retired.
According to the EU commissioners they state that only approximately 38,000 are claiming Jobseeker’s Allowance despite the British Government’s figures showing a 73% increase in the number of migrants entering Britain without a job in the last three years.
The Work and Pensions department remains firm on its decision, which is also garnering support from France and Germany, to keep strengthening the habitual residence test in order to restrict foreign migrants from entering and claiming benefits immediately.
Again this issue raises concerns over how much control the British Government has over its own affairs leading many to suspect that an EU referendum would result in an overwhelming vote to pull out.