UK faces EU court over the issue of immigrants benefits
British Ministers are accused of discrimination against citizens of European Union, who want to live and work in United Kingdom. The issue centers on the extra residency test whose aim is to determine whether EU citizens want to genuinely live in UK. According to the representatives of the European Commission the test breaks the law of the Union. The EU has a standard test that is supposed to be applied by countries to determine a migrant’s eligibility for welfare payments.But the British right-to-reside test goes further and restricts access to a number of social security benefits that would otherwise be available to those coming to the UK from another EU member state. Duncan Smith, who is the British Work and Pensions Secretary, has promised that the UK will fight the case in every possible way. In addition to that, he has accused the European Commission of watering down the measures that UK is taking in order to protect British taxpayers.
The Deputy Prime Minister also criticizes the European Commission. He agrees that UK should provide support for people, who need, but the benefits system should not be free for everyone. According to him the Government is confident that there are good legal grounds for defending the current rules as they are. The right-to-reside rules were introduced by the Labor Party during 2004 in response to the concerns that the enlargement of the European Union has raised. “Most people who come to Britain work and contribute,” shadow home secretary Yvette Cooper said. “But it is right that we should have checks in place to make sure people contribute or show commitment to this country before they benefit.”
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