Shipley MP "sick to the back teeth” of EU migrants' benefit claims for children outside of UK

Shipley MP Philip Davies

Shipley MP Philip Davies

First published in News
Last updated

CHILD benefit should not be paid out to EU migrants if their youngsters live outside the UK, one of the district’s MPs said.

Shipley MP Philip Davies backed a Commons Bill that would end what one of its supporters called the “absurd anomaly” in the use of taxpayers' money.

The Conservative backbencher said UK-born residents were “sick to the back teeth” of people who claimed child benefit for children “who have never set foot into this country”.

And he said: “It is time this nonsensical EU policy was stopped and the interests of the British taxpayer were put first.”

Domestic legislation already sets out that neither child benefit nor child tax credits can normally be paid in respect of children resident abroad.

But, under EU law on social security coordination, both may be payable to EU migrants in the UK if they have dependent children resident in another member state.

It also requires member states to pay a supplement to make up the difference if the benefit payable is higher in the country where a parent is working than in his or her country of origin.

The Bill states that 20,400 awards of UK child benefit, covering 34,268 children, had been made by December last year - 0.3 per cent of the total.

Polish families were the biggest beneficiary, followed by those from Ireland, Lithuania, France, Latvia and Spain.

David Cameron has put the controversy of child benefit for EU migrants at the centre of his plan to loosen the country's relationship with Brussels.

But the rules are enshrined in EU treaties, which means that all member states would have to agree to alter them. Germany recently backed such an overhaul.

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