Muslim immigrants with more than one wife will see an increase in their social welfare benefits beginning in 2013, when reforms to the British welfare system come into effect. Although polygamy is illegal in Britain, the state effectively recognizes the practice for Muslim men, who often have up to four wives (and in some instances five or more) in a harem.
Gatestone Institute Currently the state pays extra wives in polygamous households reduced amounts of individual income support, in addition to the normal amount received by the husband and his first spouse.
Under the new rules, however, the extra wives will be eligible to claim a full single person’s allowance (despite being married), while the original married couple will still receive the standard married person’s allowance.
“Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as separate claimants could mean that polygamous households receive more under Universal Credit than under the current rules for means-tested benefits and tax credits.” — House of Commons legal brief, July 19, 2012