Immigrants claiming benefits. Iain Duncan Smith ‘The EU is the problem’.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has said the Government is facing a crisis in its attempts to stop EU foreign nationals coming to the UK to claim benefits.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has hit out at the BBC.

Iain Duncan Smith, the Work and Pensions Secretary, has hit out at the BBC. Photo: Geoff Pugh

Mr Duncan Smith said it is too easy for migrants from the European Economic Area to pass a habitual residency test to prove they live in the UK and enable them to claim benefits.

He said the Government has met with stiff opposition from Brussels as ministers attempt to make it harder for so-called benefits tourists to abuse the system in the UK.

Ministers are currently exploring ways of limiting migrants’ access to social housing, healthcare and legal aid.

Responding to an urgent question from Labour MP Frank Field in the Commons, Mr Duncan Smith said: “I agree with you, there is somewhat of a crisis over this. I absolutely agree with you. For the last two years I have been fighting a rearguard action over what was left to me by the last government.

“The reality is that it is all right for [Labour] to moan but let’s put the facts as they are – I inherited a habitual residency test which simply isn’t fit for purpose. We are trying to tighten that up dramatically and I am being infracted at the moment by the European Union for doing that.

“But you are absolutely right, and I am with you on this, to describe this as a crisis.”

Mr Duncan Smith said that at present EU migrants must pass a habitual residency test but to do so they do not need to prove that they plan to stay here for any period of time.

It was also possible for EU migrants to claim child benefits from the UK, even if their offspring lived in their native country.

By claiming self-employed status, migrant workers could claim tax credits from the UK, he told MPs, adding that, under the Labour government, net migration stood at 2.2 million people, which is larger than the population of Birmingham.

Mr Duncan Smith said the system was “falling down” in some areas but other EU countries were angry about the problem, including Germany, which had “woken up at last” to the issue.

But the European Commission was contesting the UK’s habitual residency test, Mr Duncan Smith told MPs, adding that the Government was looking at the length of leases some migrants take out in rented housing.

The Government was trying to “lock people out” who came to the UK “solely” for the purpose of claiming benefits.

He added: “I don’t believe that this is acceptable, that we go on. I have told the European Commission that and we are going to resist it.

“What we are trying to do is to figure out the rules that allow us to prevent individuals from staying in the UK for only a short time before claiming benefits, a rule which existed under the last government.”

Mr Field said the current situation was the result of a crisis which successive governments had failed to deal with properly.

Further restrictions needed to be placed on universal credits to stop EU migrants claiming benefits, he said, telling the Commons that GPs were still taking on migrants even if they had been here for only 24 hours.

Meanwhile, local councils had a duty to publish data on whether social housing was being offered to non-British citizens, he said.

Many Romanian and Bulgarian immigrants had already come to the UK ahead of transitional arrangements being relaxed on January 1 next year, which will allow them to freely work in the country under their membership of the EU.

Mr Field said: “As there are already 150,000 Romanians and Bulgarians here quite legally, and they are arriving here at 25,000 a month or more, do you not accept that the answer you have just given us will somewhat prove ineffective against the movement that might well come after January 1?”

Shadow minister Stephen Timms said: “The system needs to be fair and to be seen to be fair. Over many decades people have come to the UK and made a huge contribution to our economy and to our society, and the Government does now need to look at the benefits and the services that will be given, given the prospect of future European migration.

“We need sensible and serious debate about credible changes. What you seem to be doing is floating some vague ideas without any sense of whether they can be delivered.”


7 Responses to “Immigrants claiming benefits. Iain Duncan Smith ‘The EU is the problem’.”

  1. sovereigntea says:

    As a former Army Officer IDS should recognise what is an asymmetric military attack i.e. mass immigration being used as a weapon by an enemy force.

    That IDS fails to acknowledge or mention this is evidence of betrayal that ought to be used later against him and his colleagues in court.

    In 1975 IDS attended the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst and was commissioned into the Scots Guards

    Weapons of Mass Migration: Forced Displacement, Coercion, and Foreign Policy

    Strategic Engineered Migration as Weapon of War
    Leonid SAVIN 26.10.2015 00:00

    After reading the title, you may think it is describing the phenomenon that Europe has recently been facing: the hundreds of thousands of refugees, both victims of the hardships of civil wars and opportunists, who are invading the Balkans by land and by sea and then making their way further, trying to reach richer countries like Germany, France and Scandinavia by any means possible.

    It would seem that this stream of refugees has objective reasons: armed conflicts and wars have been going on in Libya, Syria and Iraq for many years, while the situation is also turbulent in Palestine and Afghanistan. In Tunisia and Egypt, meanwhile, both of which experienced the Arab Spring, the situation also leaves much to be desired. Hardly anybody is taking notice of Bahrain, where opposition protests have been brutally suppressed for years, while in Yemen, air strikes are even being carried out on wedding processions. The location of these two states is not very convenient, however – there is simply nowhere to flee. There is also another important detail: camps are being built for Muslim refugees in Saudi Arabia, but nobody is going there for some reason. As a last resort, they stay in Jordan and Turkey.

    Is there also some general reason for their frantic desire to flee so far from their homeland? Wealthy relatives who have already settled in the European Union, perhaps? Or stories about welfare benefits on which they will be able to live comfortably? After all, to make such a journey they have to pay handsomely for the services of smugglers. According to some reports, these smugglers take between $4,000 and $10,000 to transport a single refugee from Syria or Libya to Europe. Even if this person has wealthy relatives abroad, receiving money via bank transfer is impossible in war-torn Syria. Organising transportation on credit clearly involves certain guarantees, especially considering that the boats often sink in the Mediterranean.

    Who is providing guarantees that encourage hundreds of thousands of people to rush from other continents to Europe and why?

    • sovereigntea says:

      The Challenges of Asymmetric Warfare

      Future threats embrace the full spectrum of disproportionate intimidation with which the countries might be faced, from international civil disobedience to criminality and right up to low intensity conflicts. Such threats range from cyber warfare through terrorism or rogue state nuclear blackmail to even use of weapons of mass destruction as much as national destabilization arising from mass migration.

      Tackling Future Challenges

      The asymmetrical threat will have an effect on warfare at strategic, operational and tactical levels. The threat will be most dramatic at the operational level. Leaders at the strategic level must continue to be concerned with the entire spectrum of national and international security issues regardless of the source, and must operate within the political arena to seek solutions to develop strategies for addressing grievances. They should also design policies and guidelines for setting up the framework within which operational level commanders and their civilian counterparts in government and non-governmental agencies will operate to address perceived threats. While tactical level commanders must acquire new skills and employ their forces in different operational arenas, their leadership role will not change appreciably. However, the challenge for operational level leaders has changed drastically. It will be the operational level leaders who will have the responsibility for the defence of the nation and their military forces involved in operations. It is the responsibility of the operational level leaders to coordinate defence activities with many other agencies such as police and other para-military forces, intelligence agencies and emergency response organisations.

  2. Lynn says:

    The whole thing has been a plan. To drag countries into the EU was a precise move to destroy Sovereignty and open borders. Convenient blame game going on. We are not in the EU. We have a Sovereign and the pound Stirling. Now close the borders you insane liars.

    • Nicky says:

      Yes indeed. Before the fake war on terror becomes a real one. And the insiders all move to Scotland to be with the stone of scone. Behind a new Hadrians wall when Scotland goes independent..ish.
      I mean to say.. Hollie Grieg affair.. A House of the illuminati resident… Total cover up of the practices engaged in by the very top administators, By the very top administrators.
      Just saying. It is a possible outcome. They have nukes up there. among other things.

  3. Dee says:

    Looking long and hard into the eyes of IDS in the pic above….very apparent there is no compassion hiding there. Chilling. (Sorry to go off topic).

    • emm jay says:

      Agree with you there Dee …. Osborne is the same but his lack of compassion is diluted somewhat, maybe due to him being a space cadet. Psychopaths …. ain’t a good look is it.

  4. Lynn says:

    They are all off their heads. They are acting like maniacle addicts.

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