PM's plan vs reality: Will Cameron's crackdown stop anyone coming here?

By James Slack

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David Cameron has hastily put together a package of measures to deter benefit tourists. Here, Home Affairs Editor James Slack assesses the plans – and the reality.

The Prime Minister David Cameron, pictured speaking at the at The British Curry Awards, has revealed a raft of measures designed to deter benefit tourists

The Prime Minister David Cameron, pictured speaking at the at The British Curry Awards, has revealed a raft of measures designed to deter benefit tourists

PLAN: Migrants who currently get jobseeker’s allowance after less than a month will have to wait three months before claiming.

REALITY: Mr Cameron claims emergency legislation is needed but, under the habitual resident test, newcomers can already be forced to wait up to three months. Cases are decided by officials at job centres. The EU objects to the rules and is already mounting a legal challenge.

PLAN: Benefits will be stopped after six months unless people have a genuine prospect of employment.

REALITY: Already the case. Existing DWP guidelines state migrants must be ‘genuinely seeking work, and have a reasonable chance of being engaged’ if they wish to continue receiving handouts. Officials will have to prove the migrant is not about to find work, which can be very difficult.

PLAN: Beggars and vagrants from EU countries will be removed and barred from re-entering Britain for 12 months.

REALITY: Migrants who make no attempt to find work are considered not to be exercising their EU Treaty rights and can be kicked out. However, this depends on already-stretched immigration officials finding out who they are – and having the resources to boot them out. There are doubts over the ability of border guards, who have allowed terrorists to slip into the country, to stop anyone who has been removed simply getting on the next coach or plane back to Britain.

 

PLAN: A ‘minimum earnings threshold’ will be introduced to access benefits that top up earnings.

REALITY: Details are very vague and no date has been fixed for introduction, but this is likely to apply only to a very small number of migrants who work fewer than 16 hours a week, and receive income support. Will be challenged by Brussels in the courts under rules which insist all EU citizens must be treated the same way.

PLAN: EU jobseekers will no longer get housing benefit to help with accommodation costs. 

Mr Cameron was forced to answer questions on the controversial topic during a heated at Prime Minister's Questions session yesterday, above

Mr Cameron was forced to answer questions on the controversial topic during a heated at Prime Minister's Questions session, above, yesterday in the House of Commons

REALITY: Sounds tough but councils will still be obliged to help any EU migrants – including Romanians and Bulgarians – who present themselves as homeless, especially if they have children. New arrivals with low-paid jobs will continue to be entitled to HB. Even for a one-bedroom flat, it can be worth £250 a week. The maximum is £400 a week. Policy will not be in place by January 1.

PLAN: End the payment of child benefit to migrants whose children live abroad.

REALITY: Nothing more than a vague negotiating position for Mr Cameron. Currently, any EU migrant who is ‘actively seeking work’ is entitled to a handout worth £20.30 for the first child and £13.40 for any others. Farcically, there are 24,000 payments being made in respect of 40,000 children living overseas. Romanians and Bulgarians who leave their children behind will be free to claim.

There is nothing in the package to address the real issue, writes Home Affairs Editor James Slack

There is nothing in the package to address the real issue, writes Home Affairs Editor James Slack

AND WHAT IS MISSING ...

There is nothing in the package to address the real issue: the lifting of restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians coming to the UK to work from January 1.

With an estimated 50,000 people moving to the UK each year, further pressure will be placed on schools, hospitals and roads.

British youngsters – there are one million out of work – will face even greater competition to find jobs.

The comments below have been moderated in advance.

Camerons only chance and it is his only chance to save his job, is to categorically state that they cannot come in. Nobody is addressing the impact that Roma have on the population where they are settled. We have rights as well. There are in excess of 3,000,000 Roma

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Smoke and mirrors from the heir to Blair. Look at the catalogue of promises he made prior to being elected that he discarded the day after the election. What on earth would possess anyone to believe a word Mr Cameron says?

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No one believe's you or your party anymore Dave, we all know when it come's to dealing with the Eu your the last political Eunuch left in Europe. Your lack of leadership and guidance as a leader has left your party on the brink of political extinction.

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Now we all should be aware that he is a treasonous traitor to the UK people. He should be arrested under the treason act. HAVE NO DISILLUSIONS! THIS GOVERNMENT AS WELL AS THE OTHERS ARE OUT TO DESTROY THE UK FROM THE INSIDE OUT.

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Everyone but Cameron knows Brussels runs this country.

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Now the balls rolling lets keep it going , and the reason Priminister Cameron will not say how many immigrants are likey to arrive here is because he knows very well the true number is well beyond expectations.

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One corrupt government telling another corrupt government what to do...So this is the EU at its best....?? Cameron could of acted long before all this, but, no he chose to hang about in the hope that the British public would roll over again.... Well Mr Cameron you were warned....!! The UK is not going to keep taking being treated as fools....!!! and you really should get rid of your advisers, as they live in cloud cuckoo land...!! Time for that REFERENDUM Mr Cameron....!!

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WE are run by a Government of advisers, with the man at the top who knows nothing except how to talk It is obvious that the Advisers are in the same position as the man at the top . They have no experience either . Why does the man at the top need hundreds of advisers, all on high salaries . This is where our money goes. Quangos, probably cost us Billions , advisers hundreds of thousands ,probably into millions.Projects like the great train robbery , billions . Is it any wonder that there is no money left for US

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Think about this - Rumanians Bulgarians and just about anyone else from Eastern Europe, push their supermarket trollies across Italy and France to get to the UK because British legislation allows them to claim benefits here that they cannot claim in those countries. Why do you blame the EU? In this case, its Britain who is giving your taxes away, not the EU!?!

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It's all lies and spin because Camoron is scared witless of UKIP's rise.

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