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Immigrants in the UK will now face tougher tests to claim benefits

david cameron


by Joseph Earnest  December 13, 2013


Newscast Media LONDON—The British government has unveiled tougher tests for migrants seeking to claim income-related benefits in the UK.

The fresh tests, described by ministers as "more robust" questioning for migrant benefit claimants, are set to be in place within five days at job centers across England, Scotland, and Wales.

    "It is vitally important that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of our benefits system,” said British Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith in a press release on Friday.

Under the new measures included in the British government's changes to the Habitual Residence Test, those migrants who cannot speak English well enough to find a job face being denied benefits.

Migrant workers will be also challenged to prove that they were genuinely looking for work before they came to the UK.

The rules are planned to apply to all overseas nationals and even to Britons returning after living abroad. The move to tighten the tests comes at a time when London is already in a legal battle with the European Commission, which describes as discriminatory the rules limiting the rights of migrants to claim benefits.

"I fundamentally disagree and intend to fight the court action - believing that the test is not only legal, but vital in order to protect the British benefits system from abuse," Smith said.

In late November, British Prime Minister David Cameron announced plans to tighten up welfare rules for migrant workers from the 28-member bloc amid concerns over a possible surge in the number of Romanians and Bulgarians coming to claim benefits when European Union (EU) working restrictions are lifted in January 2014.

However, EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding described the UK welfare system as overgenerous, saying potential problems from the influx of migrants are the fault of the British authorities.  
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 Source: Press TV















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