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Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Cross-party consensus developing in favour of OE's proposals for free movement reforms

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has today said he wants EU migrants to be blocked from accessing the new Universal Credit – which includes income-based jobseeker’s allowance, employment and support allowance, income support, child tax credit, working tax credit and housing benefit – until they have worked in Britain for six months: the benefit would then only be payable for a maximum of six months.

This echoes Open Europe’s proposal that EU migrants should only have access to these benefits after a certain residence period, but that the principle of free movement should stand.

Mr Clegg has also suggested that he wants to permanently restrict the access of migrants to in-work benefits like tax credits, saying they should only be paid to people working the equivalent of a 35-hour week on the minimum wage: a threshold of £227 instead of the current £153.

Writing in the FT, he argues that:
As we streamline our welfare system by combining a range of benefits in a single Universal Credit, we should make sure that only migrants who have worked and contributed can receive the support. New jobseekers should not be eligible. Applying the same principle – that support should be reserved for migrants who are paying something into the pot – we should look at increasing the earnings threshold for in-work benefits such as tax credits. EU migrants could, for example, be required to work the equivalent of full-time hours on the minimum wage in order to qualify.
Meanwhile, Iain Duncan Smith has told MPs that  EU jobseekers will not be able to claim Universal Credit and that access to in-work benefits "will be negotiated" within the EU.

There are two interesting things about this. First, following OE's first pamphlet on this a month ago, there now appears to be cross-party consensus on the need to re-write the rules around in-work benefits - minus Ken "party like its 1992" Clarke, of course.

Secondly, this is a blessing and a curse for Cameron. The former because it boosts the chances of getting stuff done in Europe. The latter, because he does need to differentiate himself somehow from the others and he needs to announce something "new"in his forthcoming speech.


Average Englishman said...

Nothing Clegg says can be trusted. He is an irrelevance. End.

Also, there is no consensus and will not be a consensus between all of the parties in favour of OE's 'reform' agenda, only among the dinosaur politicians that got the UK into the EUSSR mess in the first place and who are scrambling to find some way to get the UK population to accept the 'ever closer union' and 'unlimited movement of people' that the EUSSR will not drop. More smoke and mirrors.

Anonymous said...

still want out--this is just a smoke screen

christhai said...

No Open Europe.

Trying to deal with the "Benefits" or control the numbers by restricting or obstructing the "benefits" is NOT the Answer.

It opens another FALSE trail.

The PROBLEM is the NUMBER of Immigrants.

The WHOLE question of Immigration is NOT the business of the EU.

The people of the UK through their MPs (not the present EU slaves) will decide what number of Immigrants and which type they want.

The EU Freedom of Movement policy is just a system of cheap labour for the big businesses of the EU.

It is just a form of Human Trafficking.

80% of the people of the UK say NO to ANY form of EU control on Immigration.

Does the EU believe that the people of the UK are not wise enough to decide who governs their country or comes to live there?

Enough is enough!

End this mafia. UK must leave the EU.

Denis Cooper said...

Apart from politicians people can see that this horse is dead, no matter how hard you flog it.

Rik said...

Hard to see how this could have a negative effect for Cameron at home.
Clegg and Mr Ed as well are in a completely different position on the scale from being an utter USofEuropephile and actually taking concrete steps. Clegg and Ed M are still very close to the first mentioned side and Cameron is probably over the half.
Not trusting the people is another issue on which these 2 look awful.
The issue both of them face is if you are the last one to move to the new consensus the main thing is you look like an idiot and the longer you wait with that the bigger idiot you will look.

Both of them missed the plot. Clegg by taking the position that EU as is is great iso EU membership is great when there are substantial reforms.
M by moving all over the place and completely missing that EU membership is linked with all top 3 voterpriorities (economy, immigration, safety).

R Davis said...

May the destitute die on the front doorstep of your home, right before the eyes of you & your beloved family...
Xmas is upon us -
Don't forget to shop - lest you find yourselves on the outside looking in.