JOBLESS EU migrants who have been claiming benefits for the past six months and show no signs of being able to find work could be forced to leave the UK.
UK Express (h/t Monica J) Jobless EU nationals claiming benefits will be booted out of Britain from tomorrow if they show no sign of finding work. Ministers say the radical measure is an attempt to give Britain the toughest controls on migrants in the world. (What about jobless nationals from the Middle East and South Asia?)
It means those who have been claiming jobseeker’s allowance for six months will have to undergo “prospect of work” interviews to determine whether they can stay in the country. Those who do not have a job offer or the imminent prospect of finding work will lose their right to reside in the UK – leaving many liable to be sent home.
Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith said: “The public have sent a clear message that they are concerned that migrants should contribute to this country and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system. Freedom of movement is not a freedom to pick and choose where to claim benefits and we will continue to work with other countries across Europe that share our concerns to ensure we protect the integrity of our benefits system.”
Under the new rules, EU nationals must wait three months before claiming jobseeker’s allowance and are entitled to it for a maximum of six months. Anyone earning £150 a week, equivalent to working 24 hours on the minimum wage, will be classed as a worker. Those earning less than that and claiming benefits will be interviewed to assess whether they have a genuine prospect of work.
If they fail, they will be classed as “marginal and ancillary” and are liable to be sent home. If language is a barrier to employment, claimants will be given six months to improve their communication skills.
The rules will also apply to the right to claim child benefit, worth £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for each additional one, and child tax benefits.
In April, new job seekers from the European Economic Area were banned from claiming housing benefits.
EU nationals who no longer have any right of residence in the UK are liable to be removed, added to a watch list and prevented from re-entering Britain for 12 months, unless they have a valid reason to be here. They may be able to retain their right of residence in another capacity, such as being self-sufficient or a student.