David Cameron announces

Suggested Reforms on EU Migrant Benefits

GMT 15:38 Wednesday ,11 November 2015

 Migrant Voice - Suggested Reforms on EU Migrant Benefits

Image by "Number 10"

On Tuesday 10th November 2015, David Cameron set out the government’s four main demands on EU reform as follows:


  • The integrity of the single market must be protected.  
  • Reduce the burden of existing trade regulations and commit more to free flow of capital.
  • Britain must remain in control of its own sovereignty and laws and end its obligation for an ‘ever closer union’.
  • The curbing of in-work benefits to EU migrants.


A predominant issue within his demand relates to the restriction of in-work benefits to EU migrants such as tax credits, child benefit and social housing: “We have proposed that people coming to Britain from the EU must live and contribute for four years before they qualify to claim in-work benefits or social housing.”


The current EU migrant benefits system are as follows:

  • EU migrants, including families with dependants who are not working, cannot claim any benefits for the first three months of their stay.
  • After three months they must be working or actively seeking work with genuine chance of success.
  • They lose their eligibility for Job Seekers’ Allowance if they have not found a job after three months.
  • EU migrants cannot claim housing benefits if they are not working.
  • EU citizens have to pass an EU legal requisite known as the Habitual Residence Test to reside in the UK.
  • The UK has an additional ‘Right to Reside’ test that must be passed by EU migrants to qualify for permanent residency in the UK.
  • EU migrants who maintain employment are entitled to benefits such as tax credits and housing benefits.

(Source: https://fullfact.org/immigration/welfare_benefits-44747)


10 Downing Street set a clear agenda in the proposed letter to Donald Tusk on the UK’s EU reform requirements with regards to EU migrant benefit.


  • EU migrants must be a contributing resident in the UK for a minimum of four years before qualifying to claim for tax credits, child benefit and housing benefit.
  • Abolition of child benefit payment to dependents not living in the UK.


The Newstatesman.com took a closer look at the Prime Minister’s requests and found that while, “it's true that more than 300,000 EU migrants claim tax credits…. only a small proportion would be affected by his proposal, because most have been here for longer than 4 years …. only a relatively small proportion of EU migrants would be affected”.










Powered and Developed by FilmMatters

Copyright © 2018 Migrant Voice