Mr. Cameron expected to call for a ban on in-work benefits for new migrants
David Cameron is set to announce plans to ban European migrants claiming any benefits for two years after moving to Britain, it was reported today.
The Prime Minister is expected to use a long-awaited speech on immigration later this week to outline proposals to stop EU workers receiving in-work tax credits.
Mr Cameron is also expected to call for a ban on unemployment benefits for new migrants.
The Government spends £1.6 billion a year on tax credits which top up low paid jobs for 250,000 migrant workers.
Mr Cameron wants to limit migrant workers’ access to in-work benefits for between one and five years – with two years seen as the most likely, according to the Sunday Times.
Ministers believe banning new arrivals from claiming in-work benefits would make moving to Britain less attractive – helping to reduce the scale of immigration.
A report by the eurosceptic Open Europe think tank, set to be published tomorrow, reveals that a single Spanish immigrant moving to the UK to work on minimum wage sees their weekly income rise from £214.07 to £290.28, a gain of £76.21 a week, by tax credits.
Pawel Swidlicki of the think tank Open Europe said: ‘These benefits — designed to help people from welfare into work — act as an effective government-backed subsidy for EU migrants to perform low-paid jobs which does not exist in France or Germany to the same extent.’
Mr Cameron’s long-awaited speech on immigration is designed to clear the way for the Tories to make immigration the major battle ground of the next election.
It comes after the Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith vowed to ban EU migrants from claiming unemployment benefits when his universal credit scheme is up and running after the next election.
Mr Cameron has also refused to drop the idea of setting a cap on the number of migrants allowed into Britain each year, despite warnings from the German Chancellor Angela Merkel that she would veto any proposal to end freedom of movement in Europe.
But the Prime Minister is understood to be still considering proposing an ’emergency brake’ that would restrict free movement once a certain threshold is passed.
Source: Daily Mail has contributed to the article / Nov. 23, 2014