Immigrants Claim Benefits
January 20, 2012 by staff
Immigrants Claim Benefits, The news that 371,000 immigrants claimed state benefits in the UK last year will fuel the public debate over immigration. Conservative ministers have – for the first time, incredibly – ordered the recording of benefit claimants’ nationality, giving the headline total; they investigated a sample of 9,000 claimants in greater detail. Of the latter, two per cent were making fraudulent claims; the rest, the majority from outside Europe, were entitled to claim the money.
Immigrants made up 6.7 per cent of the total number of working-age benefit claimants nationally – although a quarter of London’s benefit claimants.
Immigrants make a huge contribution to Britain and especially London. Most come here to work. But where immigrants claim benefits, it inevitably undermines the credibility of both the welfare state and the immigration system. The issue is not really the tiny percentage of fraudulent claimants, just 180 of the sample. Some Britons cheat on benefits too; all benefit cheats should feel the full force of the law. The more important question is why so many are entitled to claim benefits such as Jobseeker’s Allowance at all.
Britons have limited benefit rights elsewhere in the EU and none in the countries the largest number of immigrant claimants came from – Pakistan, India and Somalia. It is hard to justify their nationals receiving benefits here – even if, as in the case of just over half the non-European claimants, they subsequently became naturalised citizens. When Britons working abroad fall on hard times, they have to fend for themselves or come home. The same should apply to immigrants to this country.
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