In The Press
Press Release - GOVERNMENT ADOPTS BUSINESS FOR NEW EUROPE’S BENEFIT REFORM RECOMMENDATIONS
27 November 2013
Business for New Europe today welcomed the Prime Minister’s plans to tighten the benefits system, several of which were suggested in BNE’s migration reform paper Migration, making it work.
BNE had suggested a three month qualification period before EU migrants could claim Jobseekers’ Allowance on arrival in the UK, which would also have to apply to UK nationals in order not to discriminate under EU law.
However, the pro-European business leaders group stressed that the changes would apply only to a tiny number of EU migrants, with the vast majority having brought huge benefits to Britain's economy.
Between 2004 and 2009, migrants from the new EU member states added £5bn to the British economy, contributing 37% more in taxes than they received in services in the UK. They are highly skilled, have a higher employment rate and less sick days than British nationals. In the first two years since joining in 2004, of the 1 million migrants from Eastern Europe, only 0.06% sought job seekers allowance and cost 0.06% of the NHS budget.
Other BNE proposals adopted by the Government today were:
- A limit of 6 months on the period Jobseekers’ Allowance would be paid to EU migrants
- A call to change EU law to ensure that Child Benefit cannot be paid to those living outside the UK
- A six-month qualification period for subsidised social housing
- Harsher enforcements of the minimum wage, so that EU migrants are not underpaid, thus preventing downward wage pressure
1. Business for New Europe is a coalition of business leaders making the positive case for a more competitive Europe.