18 December 2013

Panicked xenophobia

A bit late, perhaps?  And would it not be illegal to impose separate rules discriminating against EU migrants, compared with domestic claimants?  The Guardian reports:
David Cameron is rushing through a block on European Union migrants' access to benefits from 1 January, the politically fraught date when the remaining work restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians will be lifted in the UK.
From New Year's Day all jobseekers from the EU will have to wait for three months from their arrival in the UK before they can apply to claim any out of work benefits, Downing Street announced.
The scrambled clampdown betrays the extreme nervousness in Downing Street at the possible reaction of potential Tory voters – and increasingly restive Tory backbenchers – if the public decide ministers have failed to take every measure possible to prevent Romanians and Bulgarians travelling to Britain en masse.
David Cameron said he believed the restrictions would "make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants who want to come here and try to live off the state".The prime minister added that he wanted to "send the clear message that whilst Britain is very much open for business, we will not welcome people who don't want to contribute".
Is there any evidence that Bulgarians and Romanians will come to the UK in order to claim benefits?

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