UK Vows to Tighten EU Immigrants Access to Benefits
UK VOWS TO TIGHTEN EU IMMIGRANTS ACCESS TO BENEFITS – The Department of Work and Pensions (DWP) has announced that from March 1, 2014 EU migrants will be required to undergo a means test in which they will have to be earning a minimum of £149 a week before they can access any type of benefits.
The ‘robust tests’ are designed to prevent people claiming to have been in work or self-employment in order to gain access to the wide range of benefits the UK offers its citizens.
As with most EU legislation the term ‘worker’ is broad and is designed to encompass all manner of work and indeed the hours that they work.
With EU legislation in its current form anyone from EU member states can effectively work just a few hours a week and therefore have access to a plethora of benefits, including but not restricted to, Housing Benefit, Child Tax Credits and Child Benefits – even for those not residing in the UK.
The move will undoubtedly be in violation to EU laws but the British Government in their drive to reduce the cost of welfare are insistent that the new system is fair for all and will reduce the number of benefit tourists significantly.
Under the new rules an EU immigrant will have to show that they have been actively earning at the levels in which requires employers to pay National Insurance and for a minimum of three months.
The DWP states that earnings of £149 per week is equivalent to working 24 hours a week at minimum wage levels and those who produce evidence of such will be eligible for Income Support and Employment & Support Allowance.
For those EU immigrants that fail to meet the minimum requirements they will be classified as ‘jobseekers’ and will therefore be required to wait three months before being able to claim any type of benefits.
From April 1 this will also apply to those seeking Housing Benefit; a move some say could cause issues with inflating the number of EU immigrants sleeping rough on the streets.
“As part of the Government’s long-term economic plan we have taken action to make sure our economy delivers for people who want to work hard, play by the rules and contribute to this country.
These reforms will ensure we have a fair system – one which provides support for genuine workers and jobseekers, but does not allow people to come to our country and take advantage of our benefits system.
The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country, and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system.” Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith
Majority public sentiment will unquestionably support these moves in order to reduce the financial burden which is effectively increasing the national debt.
Certainly we have a clear choice and that is to either stand up against the onslaught of EU legislation or lie down and let it effectively bankrupt Britain.