Commission threatens to sue UK over benefits test
The European Commission has threatened to take legal action against Britain arguing that the UK’s “right to reside” test for determining benefit entitlements indirectly discriminates against non-UK nationals. The Government fears the move could leave taxpayers facing a bill of up to £2.5bn to pay for EU nationals, including “benefit tourists”, a new cost that could ruin the Coalition’s plans for welfare reform. In the Telegraph, Work and Pensions Secretary Iain Duncan Smith writes, “This kind of land grab from the EU has the potential to cause mayhem to nation states, and we will fight it.”
Open Europe’s Stephen Booth is quoted in the Mail saying, “Freedom of movement within the EU has largely been positive for the UK but issues surrounding benefits and social security are understandably very sensitive. For the freedom of movement within the EU to work, governments have to be able to assure their citizens that welfare systems won’t be abused.”
Meanwhile, in the Netherlands, Elsevier reports that a parliamentary enquiry has found that that the Dutch government underestimated and was underprepared for the number of migrants from Eastern Europe after EU enlargement.
Times Telegraph Telegraph: Duncan Smith Conservative Home Sun Express Express: Leader Mail Mail 2 Elsevier NOS
Here in the U.S. the states have known for a long time that generous welfare benefits attract "welfare benefit shoppers", from both within the U.S. and without. But the EU is going further than even the U.S. in mandating that their members--who, after all, are SOVEREIGN countries--establish NO criteria that would discriminate against such welfare benefit shoppers. It is welfare-on-demand and other socialist enterprises such as taxpayer education for non-citizens that is the primary cause of the backlash against the economically beneficial free movement of labor across political borders.