12 November 2014

By Frank Field MP

The European court decision is great news.

We must now show similar courage in this country.

By doing so, voters will know our welfare state is there for people who have paid into the system, not those arriving looking for a free handout.

Voters are fed up with the system which allows new arrivals from Europe to claim benefit straight away.

In many cases, employers give immigrants jobs on poverty wages, knowing the taxpayer will make up the difference through benefits.

So there are two measures we must now enforce.

First, make it clear to anyone wishing to reside in this country: you cannot hold out your hand the second you arrive, as you are not entitled to claim benefit for three months.

To move here, you must be able to pay your way.

Second, set out a level playing field by legislating immediately for a residency condition.

Entitlement should be built up through contributions or functions such as caring.

To claim something, you have to have put something in.

This would mean that immigrants will not automatically qualify for benefits until they both meet the residency test and build up their entitlement through contributions.

There are other measures too: end the scandal of child benefit being sent back to eastern Europe; make employers accept their responsibility to pay a Living Wage.

But these will take time.

For now, we need to jump on the chance presented to us to make our benefits system fairer.

Read the full article here: