Lord Kinnock – 2016 Parliamentary Question to the Department for Work and Pensions

The below Parliamentary question was asked by Lord Kinnock on 2016-02-01.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what were the average (1) in-work, and (2) out-of-work, benefits paid to all recent EU migrants supported by the benefits system as at March 2013.

Lord Freud

I refer the noble Lord to the answer given by my Rt. Hon. Friend the Minister for Employment (Ms. Esther McVey) in the House of Commons on 20 November 2014 to Question number 211618 as below:

While the Government checks the immigration status of benefit claimants to ensure the benefit is paid properly and to prevent fraud, traditionally that information has not been collected as part of the payment administrative systems.

However, the Government is looking at ways to reform the current administrative system under Universal Credit so that it will systematically record nationality and immigration status of migrants who make a claim.

The Government has made a radical series of changes over the last year to restrict the access by non-UK citizens from the European Economic Area to UK benefits and tax credits. This is in order to protect the UK’s benefit system and discourage people who have no established connection with the UK from moving here, unless they have a job or a genuine prospect of work, or have savings to support themselves until they do.