Govt to deny housing benefit to jobless immigrants
Unemployed immigrants will be prevented from claiming housing benefit under plans put forward by senior ministers in a bid to prevent people exploiting the UK's welfare state, the Government announced. Restrictions will come into force in April.
Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has told Daybreak the coalition is united behind plans to prevent unemployed immigrants from claiming housing benefit.
The Liberal Democrat leader said:
This is something that we have agreed across the Government.
I think it is right to say to people who are coming here to look for work from elsewhere in the European Union 'You have a right to look for work but you don't have a right to claim benefits, no questions asked, no strings attached, from day one.'
Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves is to announce plans for a "basic skills test" for all new benefits claimants.
She is expected to say in a speech this morning:
We all know that basic skills are essential in today’s jobs market, but the shocking levels of English and maths among too many jobseekers are holding them back from getting work.
This traps too many jobseekers in a vicious cycle between low paid work and benefits.
Government plans in this area just aren’t enough. They’re now asking jobseekers who exit the failed Work Programme to take up literacy and numeracy training, three whole years after those people first make a claim for benefits.
A Labour government will introduce a Basic Skills Test to assess all new claimants for Job Seekers Allowance within six weeks of claiming benefits.
Those who don’t have the skills they need for a job will have to take up training alongside their jobsearch or lose their benefits.
Labour’s Basic Skills Test will give the long-term unemployed a better chance of finding a job and will help us to earn our way out of the cost-of-living crisis.
The Labour party have let the average working man down with their "shameful" policies on benefits, two senior Government ministers have said.
Home Secretary Theresa May and Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith accused Labour of a "shameful betrayal" of British workers, after employment figures showed how Brits in work fell by 413,000 in five years, while immigrants in UK jobs rose by 736,000.
For years Labour presided over a labour market where the number of foreign people in jobs rocketed to record levels - while thousands of British workers were left on the sidelines, facing the prospect of long-term unemployment.