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Benefits for Migrant Workers
#1
Friday 13th November the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 had features about the Government looking at rule changes to clamp down on benefit tourism.  It was quite clear that all the rules looked at were going to hit sections of the UK working population and it may well be that the main aim of these suggested rule changes is to cut the amount of in work benefit paid, not to stop benefit tourism.  

Currently the government is trying to work out a change in the rules on in-work benefit - it seems that they are trying to cut the level of in-work benefit available under the pretext of stopping EU migrants claiming it.  

There is a very simple change to the rules on in work benefit that could be brought in without any major impact on most UK claimants which would impact on those benefit tourists who are coming to the UK.  That would be to say that to claim in work benefit you must have:

a) been resident or substantially resident in the UK for at least four of the previous six years.

or

b) paid four full years of national insurance contributions.

Provided no starting age is set on rule (a) it would permit access to benefits for those aged 18 to 22.  Allowing for any four out of the previous six years would allow for those who go and live or work overseas for limited periods, e.g. gap year students.

Rule (b) would cover those workers who by nature of their work are working overseas for UK based companies, like many of the freelance IT consultants, who continue to pay at least the voluntary contribution in the UK whilst working overseas.

These changes would effectively stop most benefit tourism without hitting those normally resident in the UK or who are contributing via the NI system.
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#2
(11-13-2015, 08:46 AM)NigelGB Wrote: Friday 13th November the Today programme on BBC Radio 4 had features about the Government looking at rule changes to clamp down on benefit tourism.  It was quite clear that all the rules looked at were going to hit sections of the UK working population and it may well be that the main aim of these suggested rule changes is to cut the amount of in work benefit paid, not to stop benefit tourism.  

Currently the government is trying to work out a change in the rules on in-work benefit - it seems that they are trying to cut the level of in-work benefit available under the pretext of stopping EU migrants claiming it.  

There is a very simple change to the rules on in work benefit that could be brought in without any major impact on most UK claimants which would impact on those benefit tourists who are coming to the UK.  That would be to say that to claim in work benefit you must have:

a) been resident or substantially resident in the UK for at least four of the previous six years.

or

b) paid four full years of national insurance contributions.

Provided no starting age is set on rule (a) it would permit access to benefits for those aged 18 to 22.  Allowing for any four out of the previous six years would allow for those who go and live or work overseas for limited periods, e.g. gap year students.

Rule (b) would cover those workers who by nature of their work are working overseas for UK based companies, like many of the freelance IT consultants, who continue to pay at least the voluntary contribution in the UK whilst working overseas.

These changes would effectively stop most benefit tourism without hitting those normally resident in the UK or who are contributing via the NI system.

Basically this is now going to fall into the bracket of the Brexit negotiations.
If the above proposals were introduced it would have a serious impact on those who undertake seasonal work in tourism, agriculture and horticulture. Such industries are vital to the UK economy. For such workers to be deprived of sufficient money to live on is immoral and in my view illiberal and only increases poverty or possibly drives a small percentage towards criminal activity.

I strongly believe the answer is for all EU migrant workers that have resided in Britain for 4 years on June 23rd 2016 and that are in work should be offered immediate dual nationality status, along with entitlement to benefits.

Future migrants would have a 3 month visa in which time they have to find work. They should also have the means to support themselves for that 3 month period, and no access to in-work benefits would be available within that 3 month period.
Those applying for a visa must not have a criminal record.
Those who do find work will have to renew work visas every 6 months. After 5 years they may then apply for nationality.

Not a member and just my idea on the issue Smile
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