How to deal with immigration concerns

 

Ministers have concluded that if they want to stop Romanians and Bulgarians getting some forms of welfare they may have to stop some Britons getting them too.

They are now considering changing some of the rights of British citizens in order to make it easier to limit access to healthcare, housing or benefits to new arrivals to the UK in a way which stays within EU law.

The government is drawing up a package of measures designed to bring Britain into line with policies already in use by other European member states and already deemed legal by the European Court of Justice

Councils will be urged to make greater use of new powers they have already been granted to give priority on council house waiting lists to those with local connections - whether born, educated or with relatives in their area. This could make it harder for people to move from one part of the country to another.

Those claiming non urgent NHS treatment may be asked to prove that they have been here for a year or more and are entitled to it. I suspect ministers will shun ideas for a new NHS entitlement card for all.

Ministers are also examining the possibility of linking some benefits to contributions which would have the effect of excluding new arrivals from eligibility.

This is what the Labour MP Frank Field was advocating at the weekend and would mark a radical break with the past.

Long before the Eastleigh by-election opinion polls showed that immigration was a key concern for many voters.

The imminent arrival of an unknown and unknowable number of Romanians and Bulgarians who are all free to work here next year is pushing it up the political agenda.

Labour are planning a Party Political Broadcast on the subject on Tuesday and a speech later in the week.

The discussions I am hearing about in Whitehall show just how hard it is to do anything about that anxiety.

 
Nick Robinson, Political editor Article written by Nick Robinson Nick Robinson Political editor

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  • rate this
    -1

    Comment number 242.

    Steve,

    So, any publisher of any information exposing Ukip style immigration 'concerns' as baseless scaremongering is, by definition, biased and unreliable. Well that's certainly one way of closing the curtains.

    Snuff,

    But if we reverse the flow (so a net 163k p/a population fall), then that's a city destroyed every 5 years. Is that any better than building one? Wouldn't have thought so.

  • rate this
    +2

    Comment number 241.

    225.Jeremy Lee
    ...standards of literacy far in excess of most of what I read here from the white van fraternity
    --

    Why do the pro-EU/immigration minority (bordering on marginal), believe that the people who disagree with them are less intelligent? It is arrogance and a very short step from classical fascism.

    Incidentally Jerry, missing from your post are: one comma, one semi-colon & one hyphen.

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 240.

    237#

    Oh, right that well known organ of neutrality, The Independent... the one that employs those leading political lights, Laurie Penny, Owen Jones and the plagiarist Hari? Pardon me if I dont take the smearing too seriously.

    And, you can hardly query anyone elses unfunded promises when you've spent your theoretical banker bonus tax ten times over already.

    We had 13 yrs of your underbelly...

  • rate this
    -2

    Comment number 239.

    238. Z1A900
    Which report have i shown that misrepresents anyone? The reports are based on factual analysis and data collection ie facts.
    If you take the time to read the numerous reports from migration observatory you will also see consultations that show peoples concerns with aspects of immigration has increased. Or perhaps you can give your personal experiences on immigration?

  • rate this
    +4

    Comment number 238.

    Quite frankly lefty11 people don’t need to read reports to see what is going on around them.Just like Mary Beard who was caught out a few weeks ago on Question time quoting a Council report which misrepresented how people on the ground felt on immigration, you do exactly the same.

 

Comments 5 of 242

 

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