UK will prevent foreigners from claiming benefits

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From the beginning of July, all EU immigrants that come to the UK will not be able to claim benefits for their first three months in the country. Additionally, all job seekers, who do not speak fluent English will need to attend language lessons or lose their rights to obtain benefits.

This announcement is in line with the current UK government policy that seeks to limit the pull factors that attract foreigners to the UK. Previously all immigrants were barred from having access to the Job Seeking Allowance. Furthermore, the government aims to reduce the number of interpreters that work at the job centres.

The new rules are interpreted as a part of a campaign of Prime Minister David Cameron, to boost his electoral support, before the EU parliament elections during May 2014. During the previous year, the Conservative Party has promised to cut the immigration to less than 100 000 people per year, but it seems to be missing its target for now.

When the conservative government came to power during 2010 the net immigration stood at more than 250 000 people per year. By September 2012, the government had managed to reduce net immigration to 150,000 a year but since then it has risen again and some commentators say that it may climb back up to the 2010 level of 250,000 a year by the next election.

The reason for this is that the government cannot reduce the immigration which is coming from within the EU, since the European citizens have unrestricted rights to work and live in the United Kingdom.

A recent poll shows that more than 70% of the UK population wants the net immigration levels to be cut. This may give a significant boost to the anti-EU UK Independence Party which promises that the UK will leave the EU if it comes to power.


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