Anorak | The Roma Are Coming: 100,000 Migrants To Live On UK Benefits

The Roma Are Coming: 100,000 Migrants To Live On UK Benefits

by | 4th, March 2011

BACK in 2004, when the EU enlarged,  in 2004, transitional arrangements barred new arrivals from claiming dole. Workers were allowed to come and work, and only once they had worked continuously for 12 months could they qualify for benefits.

It was a huge deal. Tony Blair, the then Prime Minister, salved fears about mass immigration by stating:

“No one will be able to come to the UK from anywhere in the enlarged European Union simply to claim benefits or housing”.

Of course, this being Tony Blair, the truth was little less black and white. There is a time limit on the rules that would be applicable for seven years from 1 May 2004.

The Mail has spotted the story.

Hundreds of thousands of migrants will gain full access to Britain’s generous benefits system within weeks.

News is that migrants – the Mail says up to 100,000 of them – will be able to claim £250-a-week as “Europe forces Britain to abolish its restrictions on benefits”. That’s not quite true. The EU is not forcing Britain – Britain agreed.

The Express yells from its front page:


Well, no. They have to qualify for benefits.

They need to get here and pass an “habitual residency test” – showing they have been looking for work for three months; have an address; prove themselves willing to settle; and show all employment history.

And then there is the matter that migrants are in search of a better life and, all told, £250 a week, which includes your council tax and rent, is not the dream most will have been chasing. Tinned food and council flats is no great bait, is it?

The Express’s Macer Hall presses f9 on the keyboard and gets in touch with Sir Andrew Green, of the think tank Migrationwatch:

“The end of the transition period needs to be closely monitored. There is clearly a risk of benefit tourism, for example by the Roma who, in eastern Europe, often live on benefits which are much lower than in the UK.”

Much lower than in the UK, where the cost of living is much higher than in Romania. and, focus, the Roma gypsies are just a group picked at random and should not be confused with Greek medics…

Posted: 4th, March 2011 | In: Politicians Comment | Follow the Comments on our RSS feed: RSS 2.0 | TrackBack | Permalink