Prime Minister David Cameron’s plans to curb welfare benefits for migrants from the European Union (EU) “will only stoke up cynicism and conflict,” TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady has said.
Last Friday Mr Cameron announced that EU migrants will not be able to claim benefits for four years after arriving in the UK.
“The Prime Minister is taking a sledgehammer to a problem that he has exaggerated. People are coming to Britain to work,” Ms O’Grady said.
She observed that there was “little or no evidence that benefits make a difference,” adding that Mr Cameron’s “announcement will have no impact on numbers. It might sound tough, but will only stoke up cynicism and conflict.”
Ms O’Grady said the UK needed a new approach based on ending its “status as Europe’s exploitation capital, where the worst bosses use migrant workers to undermine rights and wages.”
“If the government was serious about reducing benefit spending, it should be doing something about the poor pay and high rents that drive up the benefits bill for those in work,” Ms O’Grady said.