United Kingdom

Cameron to limit migrant benefits

Published on 27 November 2013 at 12:54

“Free movement should not be about exporting child benefit,” thundered UK Prime Minister David Cameron in a column for the Financial Times outlining plans to limit unemployment benefits for new EU migrants ahead of the abolition of immigration restrictions for Romanians and Bulgarians beginning on January 1, 2014.

Cameron unveiled a series of measures to dissuade would-be migrants from travelling to the UK, including a bar on new claimants collecting out-of-work allowances for the first three months after they arrive, and a six-month upper limit on receiving such benefits.

There will also be a new minimum income criteria for part-time workers applying for income support benefits and a block on new EU migrants accessing housing allowances.

Under the front page headline ‘EU migrants face tough new curbs on benefits’, The Times details the PM’s plans adding that Austria, Germany and the Netherlands have also highlighted concerns about a possible influx of migrants following the end of border controls for Romanians and Bulgarians. The newspaper continues –

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The package is expected to be challenged by the European Commission under the EU Freedom of Movement directive, although government sources said that they were confident that they were within the rules. Mr Cameron set out his position for what he hopes will be a defining tussle with Brussels, saying it was time for a new settlement that qualified the right to travel to live and work within the EU.

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