MIGRANTS coming to the UK from the European Union face tough new curbs on their rights to claim benefit under changes announced by David Cameron today.
The Prime Minister is today expected to use a keynote speech to say that ending the “something for nothing” culture had to apply to immigration as well as welfare,
From next year, people fom EU countries will be stripped of jobseekers benefits after six months unless they can prove they have been actively looking for a job and stand a “genuine chance” of finding one.
Migrants also face tougher tests to qualify for income-related benefits.
Mr Cameron is also targeting illegal immigration – doubling the maximum fine for companies that employ illegal workers to £20,000 – and planning action against so-called “health tourism” that could mean non-EU nationals have to prove they hold insurance before getting care.
He was also due to announce plans to keep migrant families off council house waiting lists south of the border for up to five years.
The harder line will please the Tory Right, who have blamed the lack of action in such core areas for the party’s dismal third place behind the UK Independence Party (Ukip) in the Eastleigh by-election.
Mr Cameron was expected to say: “While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration, I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled.
“Net migration needs to come down radically from hundreds of thousands a year to just tens of thousands.
“And as we bring net migration down so we must also make sure that Britain continues to benefit from it. That means ensuring that those who do come here are the brightest and the best, people we really need with the skills and entrepreneurial talent to create the British jobs and growth that will help us to win in the global race.”
But Bishop of Dudley, David Walker, said: “Public fears around immigration are like fears around crime. They bear little relationship to the actual reality.”