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UK tightens benefit system

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British Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a new plan that will allow the government to cut European Union (EU) migrants’ entitlement to benefits after just three months of claims, media reports said.

Prime Minister David Cameron speaks after unveiling the  portrait of  Baroness Thatcher at Saïd Business School in Oxford
Prime Minister David Cameron speaks after unveiling the portrait of Baroness Thatcher at Saïd Business School in Oxford

“We want an immigration system that puts Britain first so if you come here illegally … we will make it harder for you to have a home, to get a car, to get a job, to get a bank account and when we find you – and we will find you – we’ll make sure you are sent back to the country you came from,” BBC quoted the prime minister as saying on a visit to see immigration officers at work.

He added that the plan was designed to hammer home the message to new arrivals that they could not expect to get “something for nothing”.

A series of measures to tighten rules on migrants’ entitlement to medical treatment, welfare and housing have already been announced after the lifting of transitional controls in January on Romanians and Bulgarians working in Britain, the Independent reported.

Under new rules, EU migrants are forced to wait three months before they could claim out-of-work benefits. Benefits are allowed for a maximum of six months unless they had clear job prospects.

“We are making sure that people come for the right reasons – which has meant addressing the magnetic pull of Britain’s benefits system,” Cameron said.

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