jambalaya - Member
This research doesn't fully reflect the issues.
Firstly a very large number of economic migrants come here illegally and are not reflected in official statistics, if they've managed to come here illegally who's to say they can't claim benefits but trick the system that they were not immigrants ?
Immigration and benefits:
‘So if benefit “tourism” is still out even if the European Commission gets its way, long-term sponging won’t an option thanks to the government’s own crackdown, and there are other more attractive destinations closer to home, it’s difficult to see why floods of work-shy immigrants will be queuing up to make Britain their home.
FactCheck asked the government for estimates of how big the problem of benefit tourism actually is, and whether it had got better or worse since the introduction of “right to reside” in 2004.
A DWP spokesman said the department had “no information available”.’
‘The only way in which someone entering the UK could come and live off benefits from “day one” would be if their partner was happy to give them a slice of their own, should they be receiving any.
But as we don’t know how many people on benefits then go on to sponsor a partner, we have no idea how many are prepared to do that.
Likewise, we can’t say whether the vast majority of those who enter for family reasons and are entitled to handouts, go on to claim them, although we’ve previously shown that a smaller proportion of overseas nationals claim benefits than UK nationals.
In these times of austerity, Ms May is, naturally, looking at reducing the burden on the state – whether through non-EU nationals or through UK citizens.
The only problem is that we can’t find any way of saying how much that burden would be reduced by. We went back to the home office for clarification on Mr Green’s comments.
They hadn’t responded by the time we went to press.’
The then Employment Minister Chris Grayling, whose name will be familiar to regular readers, raised the issue of “benefit tourism” at the beginning of the year.
Were increasing numbers of immigrants coming to these shores with a view to enjoying an easy life on benefits. Errr…no. We found that the claimant rate among overseas nationals has fallen by two thirds in a decade, despite the economic downturn.
UKIP leader Nigel Farage took a similar line when he warned about how easy it is for Eastern European migrants to get a council house in Britain.
The truth is that it’s not easy and only 1 per cent of people from the A8 nations, which include Poland and the Baltic States, were living in social housing the last time anyone checked.