LONDON – Britain on Wednesday said that workers arriving from the European Union must wait three months before applying for child benefits, the latest in a series of measures aimed at cracking down on immigration.
Economic Secretary to the Treasury Nicky Morgan said in London.
“The changes to be introduced in July is to send a strong message that our welfare system is not open to abuse and will deter those who think that they can move to the UK primarily to claim benefits,’’ Nicky said.
The Treasury also said that those applying for jobseeker’s allowance, an unemployment benefit, would no longer have routine access to interpretation services and that their English would be tested from the end of April.
“If their English was a barrier to work they would be expected to improve it,’’ he said.
However, measures forcing EU immigrants to wait for three months before applying for jobseeker’s allowance were already introduced earlier this year.
Report says another law asks immigrant workers to prove minimum earnings of 150 pounds a week in order to qualify for “worker’’ status, which gives them access to better benefits.
Prime Minister David Cameron has been under pressure to take a tougher stance on the EU and immigration.
It said that opinion polls show his Conservative party losing support to the anti-EU UK Independence Party, which was on course to win European Parliament elections in May. (dpa/NAN)