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Duncan Smith backs 'bold move' on minimum wage

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has welcomed George Osborne's "bold move" of backing an increase in the minimum wage.

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: Ian Nicholson/PA Wire

Read: Osborne spins on minimum wage as general election looms

"It shows that at the heart of all our reforms this Government is concerned to improve the quality of life for the poorest in society," he said.

"The commitment to a higher national minimum wage is all part of ensuring that the economic recovery delivers for people who want to work hard and play by the rules."

Read: Osborne's words on minimum wage 'mean nothing'

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Labour: Govt playing 'catch up' over EU migrant benefits

Shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves

The shadow work and pensions secretary Rachel Reeves has said the Government is playing "catch up" after Labour proposed measures to "ensure people are coming to UK to contribute, not just to claim benefits".

"We've said that the EU framework needs reform, including to look again at social security and Labour market rules, but that means serious proposals and effective influence in Europe, not empty bluster", she added.

Clegg supports principle of migrant benefits ban

Liberal Democrat leader Nick Clegg has indicated that he supports the "principle" of the Conservatives' proposed two-year ban on EU migrants receiving welfare payments.

Nick Clegg suggested migrants should not be free to claim benefits 'on day one' Credit: BBC

The Deputy Prime Minster told the BBC's Andrew Marr Show: "I'm up for establishing a clear principle that says the freedom to move around the European Union to look for work is one thing, but it's not the same as the freedom to claim benefits on day one - no questions asked, no strings attached."

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith proposed that EU migrants should not be allowed to claim welfare payments for up to two years after arriving in Britain to stop them exploiting the benefits system.

UK concerned over 'benefit tourism' through migration

There is a growing concern about 'benefit tourism', Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has said, after suggesting that EU migrants should be banned from receiving benefits for up to two years.

Speaking to the Sunday Times (£), he added:

Demonstrate that you are committed to the country, that you are a resident and that you are here for a period of time and you are generally taking work and that you are contributing.

At that particular point . . . it could be a year, it could be two years, after that, then we will consider you a resident of the UK and be happy to pay you benefits

Mr Duncan Smith also told the newspaper that he had begun building an alliance of countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland to attack “benefits tourism”.

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Free movement of EU migrants 'not negotiable'

There is no question of the European parliament agreeing to reopen the rule-book on free movement, the president Martin Schulz has said, as the UK attempts to curb EU immigration.

President of the European Parliament Martin Schulz Credit: Wiktor Dabkowski/DPA/Press Association Images

According to the Observer, the German Social Democrat said he would like to see David Cameron's plans for EU reform, and wanted the UK to remain inside the EU to shape policy on everything from climate change to the single market and development policy.

But he added: "Where we differ is that I would rather see the UK making its case for reform from within the EU rather than with one hand on the escape hatch.

"The principle of free movement of people has been one of the greatest successes the EU has, it is a fundamental principle and it's not up for negotiation any more than renegotiating the principle of the free movement of goods, services or capital."

Ban migrant welfare for two years, says Duncan Smith

The Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith has proposed that EU migrants should be banned from claiming welfare payments for up to two years after arriving in Britain to stop them exploiting the benefits system, according to the Sunday Times (£).

Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith. Credit: PA

Duncan Smith’s plan goes far beyond Britain’s recently announced three-month ban on benefits to new EU migrants, prompted by Bulgarians and Romanians gaining free access to the British jobs market from January 1.

IDS told the newspaper that he had begun building an alliance of countries including Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Finland to attack “benefits tourism”.

DWP: IDS has 'not shied away from tough decisions'

In response to Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude's admission that the implementation of the Universal Credit system has been "pretty lamentable", the Department for Work and Pensions has told ITV News Iain Duncan Smith has "not shied away from any tough decisions" over the policy:

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DWP spox says Iain Duncan Smith has not shied away from any tough decisions in terms of Universal Credit development and implementation.

Watch: Cabinet Office minister says it was "very regrettable" so much had been wasted on Universal Credit

Labour: 'When will IDS get a grip on Universal Credit?'

Labour's shadow work and pension secretary Rachel Reeves has asked "when will the PM and IDS [Iain Duncan Smith] get a grip" on Universal Credit, after Cabinet Office minister Francis Maude admitted to ITV News that its implementation had been "pretty lamentable" so far:

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Even cabinet ministers are now admitting Universal Credit is a shambles. When will PM and IDS get a grip? http://t.co/atKNnM5yU7

Watch: Cabinet Office minister says it was "very regrettable" so much had been wasted on Universal Credit

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