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`Migrants entitled to child benefit, tax credits’: Harriet Harman

`Government should make it easier for them to send money home’

13th December 2010:  On the receiving end despite their contribution to the economy, the migrants have received words of appreciation from Labour’s Deputy Leader Harriet Harman.

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She praised  immigrants as “hidden heroes” — an assertion that has invited criticism not only from the government, but from various other quarters, and added the migrants were entitled to claim state payments such as child benefit and tax credits.

Moreover, the Government should make it easier for them to send the money home. Harman also called for tax refunds to encourage more immigrants to follow suit, in particular those who paid for their children to be educated in the Third World.

Harman appreciated the immigrants, who after earning in Britain were sending cash back home to support their families. Harman also appreciated the immigrants for helping improve living standards and education in the Third World.

Harman defended her comments by asserting many of her constituents work, study, and bring up their families in Britain. They also send money back to their villages in their country of origin.

Harman clarified she had asked everyone to respect and encourage their role; and added they were entitled to claim state payments such as child benefit and tax credits.

International Development Minister Alan Duncan reacting on the statement termed Harman’s comments as bizarre. Harman should explain precisely what she meant, asserted Duncan.

Tory Deputy Chairman Michael Fallon added this called into question how in touch Labour was on the issue of welfare.

Harman is well-known for her passion for equality and feminism. Her comments came at a meeting at Southwark town hall in her South London constituency.

The meeting was attended by many local voters with Nigerian, Ugandan and other foreign backgrounds, as well as representatives of aid charities.

She vowed to fight any moves to cut the UK’s £9.4billion overseas aid budget.

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