Ban on universal credit for EU migrants raises concerns
The government have said that new EU migrants arriving in the UK will be prevented from claiming universal credit.
Under these new regulations, no EU households will be entitled to benefits without having worked in the UK first, reports 24dash.
The DWP say that the move follows actions that have already been taken to halve the amount of time EU jobseekers can claim benefits. It will also mean that if they don’t have a job after three months, their right to reside in the UK will be lost.
The DWP said: “These tough new rules are part of the government’s long-term economic plan to protect the benefits system and ensure EU migrants come to this country for the right reasons and to contribute to the economy.”
Work and Pensions Secretary, Iain Duncan Smith added: “As part of the government’s long-term economic plan we have led the way with a series of measures to tackle abuses, tighten immigration routes, and toughen up the rules on access to UK benefits – and we have seen other European countries follow our lead and take similar action. Our new rules for universal credit will ensure we have a fair system where people cannot claim means tested benefits until they have worked.”
Many are concerned over these new rules, including Social Security Adviorsy Committee Chair Paul Gray, who has written a letter to the Work and Pensions Secretary stating: “The proposed changes…affect not only potential migrants considering whether to come to GB in search of work, but also EEA nationals and their dependants who have already settled and worked in the UK. The committee acknowledges that some of this latter group who subsequently fall out of work may continue to have access to benefit because they have a qualifying right of residence. But the committee is concerned that there will be a significant number of families that could suffer hardship. Indeed a number of respondents to our earlier consultation were clear that, in the case of family or relationship breakdown, some people would be wholly reliant upon friends, charities and local authorities for help. This would particularly be the case for a number of people who have been in the country and contributed for some time. For them, in practical terms, ‘home’ is here.”
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