Joined: 03 Jun 2005
|Posted: Fri Sep 30, 2011 7:51 am Post subject: EU ORDERS BRITAIN TO LET IMMIGRANTS CLAIM BENEFITS,
|Now the EU orders Britain: Let migrants claim benefits as soon as they arrive in UK
By Daniel Martin
Last updated at 7:54 AM on 30th September 2011
Europe has given Britain two months to scrap policies preventing benefit tourists claiming billions of pounds in handouts.
Last night the European Commission said it would take the Government to court unless it draws up plans to axe restrictions on claims by immigrants, saying they are against the law and must be scrapped.
Brussels bureaucrats acted after receiving a complaint that the rules infringed the human rights of EU citizens.
'Should be scrapped': The European Commission said it would take the Government to court unless it draws up plans to axe restrictions on claims by immigrants
It is feared the change could open the door to tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans who are currently deterred from coming to Britain – costing taxpayers up to £2.5billion a year in extra welfare payments.
At present a ‘habitual residency’ test is used to establish whether EU migrants are eligible for benefits.
To qualify for jobseekers’ allowance, employment support allowance, pension credit and income support, they must demonstrate they have either worked here previously or have a good opportunity to get a job.
But the European Commission said this ‘right to reside’ test indirectly discriminates against nationals from other EU states by enforcing a set of conditions that effectively tests their right to state handouts.
Opening the door: It is feared tens of thousands of Eastern Europeans currently deterred from coming to Britain could cost taxpayers up to £2.5billion a year in extra welfare payments
Yesterday members announced they were considering taking the UK to the EU’s Court of Justice if it does not scrap the test.
And they gave the Government two months to inform them of the measures it takes to enforce the rules.
Officials in the Department for Work and Pensions warn it would cost anything from £620million a year to £2.46billion if they have to scrap the test – seriously hampering plans to rein in public spending.
Employment minister Chris Grayling said: ‘This is a very unwelcome development.
‘It’s obviously right that we support those who work and pay their taxes here, but it’s clearly completely unacceptable that we should open our doors to benefit tourism.
‘I’m really surprised the European Commission has chosen to go into battle on this very sensitive issue, when there are clearly far more pressing problems to solve in Europe.’
'Unwelcome development': Employment minister Chris Grayling
A source at the DWP added: ‘This could open the doors of the benefits system to anyone from the EU, even if they have no intention of working.
‘That would be bad enough if we were in good economic times, but we are not in good economic times.’
‘We will fight this tooth and nail. This is a battle we will win.’
Nigel Farage, the leader of the UK Independence Party, said: ‘Once again we see the EC telling us how to run our country and people are becoming sick and tired of it.
‘The UK is perfectly within its rights to require EU nationals to fulfil certain conditions before taking advantage of our generous benefits system.
‘If the EC gets its way then there will be a far greater burden on the British taxpayer as more money will need to be found for the social security system.
‘The “right to reside” test should stay. It is not discrimination, but simply a system to ensure that benefits are paid only to those who are entitled to them.’
Stephen Booth, research director of think-tank Open Europe, said: ‘Freedom of movement within the EU has largely been positive for the UK but issues surrounding benefits and social security are understandably very sensitive.
‘For the freedom of movement within the EU to work, governments have to be able to assure their citizens that welfare systems won’t be abused.
‘At a time when people are concerned about the pressures of immigration, the Commission is playing a dangerous game by trying to overrule the UK on its “right to reside” test.’
The European Commission first set out its stall last year when it wrote: ‘EU law leaves it to member states to determine the details of their social security schemes and social assistance schemes, including the conditions on awarding benefits.
‘Having examined the “right to reside” test, it is not compatible with different legal provisions of EU law.’
This is laughable, if this is the case, then the EU must put this same demand on EVERY country in Europe. also the exact amount must be offered in what ever currency.Can you imagine the LATVIANS offering 400 pounds job seekers allowance, 1000 pounds for rent per month, electric money, gas, lol.......
when injustice becomes law resistance becomes your duty, stop this take over of the UK .