Further blow to welfare changes!

In November, Prime Minister David Cameron, a regular visitor to the Harrow marginal constituencies, said, “Changes to welfare – to cut EU migration – will be an absolute requirement in the negotiation that I’m going to undertake” – he meant the four-year residency test for migrants claiming certain benefits, such as tax credits, child benefit and housing benefits.
“Imposing additional requirements on EU workers that do not apply to a member state’s own workers constitutes direct discrimination which is prohibited under current EU law”, now warn the government lawyers.
Did PM consult government lawyers before making such a loose statement about the exclusive benefits criteria for some, seemingly to please voters in the constituencies like Harrow West where the Tory MP candidate eventually lost or whether he made a false pledge before the election knowing that he would not be able to fulfil it? In either case, this demonstrates irresponsibility.
In a face saving exercise and to patch-up the ‘discriminatory’ move, the government now plans to include British citizens in the qualifying criteria for the working tax credits and housing benefits as well, and as the test would apply from the age of 18, anyone aged under 22 who had lived here all their life would not be eligible for tax credits.
It looks that the PM will not be able to deliver on his promises as the four-year wait for migrants is unlikely to be agreed by all 28 EU nations.
However, the future of our youth remains bleak as the government plans to strip unemployed 18-21 year olds of housing benefits as well.