Friday, 13 December 2013

New migrant tests

Migrants will be able to claim benefits only if they pass a series of tough new tests, including a check on their fluency in English, the Government is to announce today. The moves, which will come into force a fortnight ahead of the removal of transitional controls on Romanian and Bulgarian workers, are designed to send a strong deterrent message to potential "benefit tourists". From next Wednesday, foreign-born benefit claimants will face more questions in lengthier interviews. The rules apply to all overseas nationals, regardless of whether or not they are from the EU, and to Britons returning after living abroad. For the first time, claimants will be challenged to demonstrate their proficiency in English and to prove they were genuinely looking for work before they came to this country. "It is vitally important that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of our benefits system. The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country, and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system. We are taking action to ensure this is not the case," Iain Duncan Smith comments.

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