Earning threshold to be introduced for EU migrants
EU migrants will have to earn £149 a week to claim a range of benefits, as new welfare reforms come into effect. From 1 March the minimum earnings threshold will restrict access to jobseekers’ allowance, child tax credits and more.
It follows a number of new restrictions on benefits access. Ministers argue that the EU principle of members being allowed to live and work in other member states does not amount to an automatic right to claim benefits abroad.
The threshold will rise to £153 a week in 2014/15 and any EU migrant earning below this will face further assessment of whether they are in the UK to undertake ‘genuine work’.
Figures from the EU suggest only 2% of JSA claimants are EU migrants.
Prime minister David Cameron has today defended welfare reform from criticisms by Archbishop Nichols, who said the changes were leaving people “destitute”.
Cameron said: “For me the moral case for welfare reform is every bit as important as making the numbers add up.”
He added that the reforms “are about giving new purpose, new opportunity, new hope – and yes, new responsibility to people who had previously been written off with no chance”.
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