A new proposal from the United Kingdom to limit the rights of EU immigrants to access local welfare funds has escalated into a war of words with EU officials over the free movement of workers. The UK’s Work and Pensions Minister, Ian Duncan has said that from now on EU immigrants must prove that they have earned at least 150 pounds per week in order to be able to claim any benefits.
Mr Duncan Smith said that EU citizens who had been in work but had not earned £150 per week for the required period would be tested to see whether they had been in ‘genuine and effective’ employment or they would be denied benefits. According to the EU definition of the term worker ß the work that he executes must be effective and genuine.
The spokesman of the European Commission, however, said that the introduction of a minimum income threshold as a prerequisite to receiving social benefits is against the European Law. The UK, however, insisted that a definition of the worker must be someone who earns at least 150 GBP per week.
The European Commission says that it has asked the UK government to send the full details of its proposals to the Commission. The spokesman said ‘The European Commission will scrutinise very closely the latest measures announced by the UK to ensure their full compliance with EU law’.
This confrontation is merely one episode of the confrontation between the European Union and the United Kingdom on the issue of immigration battle between both. European commission defends the right of free movement of people with EU, while the UK claims that most of the newcomers actually want only to steal money from the benefit’s system of the country.
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