Migrants face child benefit curbs

Restrictions on welfare available to immigrants from the EU to the UK will be extended to child benefits.

From July, EU migrants must live in the UK for three months before they can claim child benefit and child tax credit, the BBC has reported
From July, EU migrants must live in the UK for three months before they can claim child benefit and child tax credit, the BBC has reported

Workers from the EU coming to Britain must already wait three months before they can claim jobseeker's allowance under new measures pushed through at the end of last year.

The Treasury has now decided that from July, EU migrants must live in the UK for three months before they can claim child benefit and child tax credit, the BBC said.

Economic secretary to the Treasury Nicky Morgan said the move would ensure that the welfare system would not be abused.

She told the BBC: "The government is building a system that is fair and consistent, one that supports those who want to work hard.

"These changes send a strong message that our welfare system is not open to abuse and will deter those who think that they can move to the UK primarily to claim benefits.

"Making work pay is part of our long-term plan to ensure that Britain's growing economy and dynamic jobs market deliver for those who work hard and play by the rules."

Benefit claimants will also face tests of their spoken English and those with a poor grasp of the language will have training and be expected to improve if it affects their search for work, the BBC said.

The Tories have set a goal of reducing net migration to the tens of thousands by the end of the Parliament.

But the target looks set to be missed after the most recent figures surged year-on-year by more than a third to 212,000 in the 12 months to September 2013.