The British government keeps no figures on how many European Union nationals claim welfare payments in the UK, a classified Home Office document has admitted, despite repeated complaints about “benefit tourism” and social security abuse.
The document is the UK’s response to a European Commission demand for evidence of claims by Theresa May, the Home Secretary, that some European migrants abuse the EU’s free movement laws and become an “unacceptable burden” after travelling to Britain to claim benefits.
In the eight page text, which has been seen by The Telegraph, the Home Office concedes that it is unable to state the number of EU nationals claiming welfare compared to Britons on social security benefits over a “given period”. Nor can it give figures showing the number of EU migrants making fraudulent benefit claims.
“We consider that these questions place too much emphasis on quantitative evidence,” says the document, seen by The Daily Telegraph. “The UK does not currently impose a registration requirement upon Union citizens who enter the UK and exercise free movement rights.”
Data on the nationality of claimants for social welfare benefits is not routinely published, it adds, as there is not routinely a “nationality marker” attached to them.
The admission, in a text submitted to Brussels last month, risks undermining British calls for tighter restrictions on welfare immigrants as EU interior ministers meet to discuss the issue on Tuesday. With German, Dutch and Austrian support, Mrs May has asked the EU to overhaul freedom of movement rights to make it more difficult to claim residency in another country and to make it easier to deport wrong-doers.
There are 2.3 million EU migrants living in Britain, with 155,000 new arrivals from the EU last year under the “free movement” rules, up by 90 per cent from the 82,000 who came in 2011. The number of migrants is expected to rise further next year, when all restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians travelling to Britain will be lifted.
An EU migrant must show that they have been in work and have the intention to settle to earn the “right to reside” qualification for benefits. Migrants who have not worked, and are not dependant on someone who is working, are judged to be a “burden on public funds” and fail to qualify
Not having statistics for “Welfare Tourists” is quite natural for a Government which wishes to keep such information quiet.
The Government knows that over a million welfare seeking people from Romania, Bulgaria and Moldavia will be arriving in the UK next year.
Whatever they say, they know there are over a quarter of a million here now.
The 3 Europarties, Conservative, Labour and LibDems are powerless to stop the Eastern European hordes.
Because the EU won’t let them – they say.