Britain said it was stepping up restrictions on foreign job seekers’ access to welfare payments on Tuesday (8 April), as Prime Minister David Cameron strives to cut immigration ahead of the 2015 election.
Cameron has sought to appear tough on the issue by tightening visa rules for migrants from outside the European Union and by restricting access to welfare benefits for EU nationals.
Under rules announced on Tuesday, migrants from all countries who arrive in Britain to find work will have to wait for three months before being able to claim welfare payments for their children.
The announcement builds on a similar three-month waiting period for unemployment benefits, which was introduced earlier this year amid concerns that the lifting of restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian workers’ right to come to Britain could prompt a surge in immigration.
New welfare claimants will also no longer have automatic access to translation services, and those who do not speak English will face unspecified sanctions unless they improve their language skills.
Cameron has made tighter restrictions on the movement of jobseekers within the EU one of his priorities for a planned renegotiation of Britain’s ties with the 28-nation bloc.
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