David Evennett, MP for Bexleyheath and Crayford, has welcomed new proposals announced by the Prime Minister today (27 November) make it harder for EU nationals to receive benefits from the British taxpayer.
Writing in the Financial Times, David Cameron outlined a number of changes to the welfare rules, which will include:
– Not paying any benefits to an EU national for the first three months
– Only providing assistance for six months, unless the individual has a genuine prospect of employment
– Requiring EU migrants to pass a minimum earnings test
– Not paying housing benefit to those newly arrived in the UK
– Deporting those who are not seeking work and banning them from returning to the UK for 12 months
Mr Cameron also announced that he will work with other European countries to review the principle of free movement within the EU, which includes paying child benefits abroad.
Commenting on the plans, Mr Evennett said “Labour’s open door immigration policy has caused real problems in terms of housing, school places and healthcare. It has, in many cases, been a drain on the taxpayer and our welfare system. This is because of EU Treaties signed by the previous Labour Government, without a referendum, and their failure to protect Britain’s interests. However, I strongly welcome the action that the Prime Minister is taking on this issue, as it shows that the Government is listening to the very real concerns that people have.”