Jobless European migrants banned from claiming housing benefit

Rules barring new migrant jobseekers from the European Economic Area (EEA) from getting Housing Benefit (HB) will enter into force in April, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said.

The government said they were determined to cap welfare and reduce immigration as part of Britain’s long-term economic plan.

From the start of April, new EEA jobseekers will no longer be able to access Housing Benefit if they are claiming income-based Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA).

“As part of the government’s long-term economic plan we have taken action to make sure our economy delivers for people who want to work hard and play by the rules,” Mr. Smith said. “These reforms will ensure we have a fair system – one which provides support for genuine workers and jobseekers, but does not allow people to come to our country and take advantage of our benefits system.”

The government confirmed that the new Housing Benefit rules do not affect UK and Irish Republic nationals, or EEA migrants genuinely self-employed or in a job.

EEA nationals who have been working in the UK, and are subsequently made redundant and claim JSA, will not be affected by this measure.

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