Prime Minister David Cameron has announced a measure that will bar all EU jobseekers from claiming work benefits immediately they arrive in the UK.
He said that from 1st January 2014, all EU jobseekers will have to wait for three months before they can apply to claim out of work benefits.
The new rule has been brought in to stop people abusing Britain’s benefit system, the government said.
“The hard-working British public are rightly concerned that migrants do not come here to exploit our public services and our benefits system,” Mr. Cameron said. “As part of our long-term plan for the economy, we are taking direct action to fix the welfare and immigration systems so we end the ‘something for nothing culture’ and deliver for people who play by the rules.”
He added: “Accelerating the start of these new restrictions will make the UK a less attractive place for EU migrants who want to come here and try to live off the state. I want to send the clear message that whilst Britain is very much open for business, we will not welcome people who don’t want to contribute.”
The UK will lift working restrictions on Bulgarians and Romanians on 1st January 2014. From that date, migrants from Romania and Bulgaria will be able to work freely across Europe in countries such as the UK, Spain and Germany. Previously restrictions have been in place whereby migrants from these two countries could only work in the UK if they were self-employed or doing seasonal jobs such as fruit picking.
A recent report by Think-tank, Democracy Institute, predicted that at least 385,000 migrants will move to the UK from Bulgaria and Romania over the next five years.
It seems the newly announced measure is meant to bar Romanian and Bulgarians migrants from claiming work benefits immediately they arrive in the UK.