The truth about ‘benefit tourism’

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I was early in the office today – 7.30am – and the cleaners were just finishing up. Not surprisingly, they clearly were not born in the UK, and I think it is reasonable to assume (we use a reputable firm) that they are paying tax and not claiming benefits. But of course anecdotal evidence of this sort proves nothing, so what are we to make of the Daily Telegraph article, by Chris Grayling and Damian Green, which states that 371,000 migrants are claiming out-of-work benefits?

There is some more detail in the BBC’s report on the study. It says that 371,000 people, out of a total of 5.5 million, who are claiming working-age benefits, were non-UK nationals when they first registered for a national insurance number; of these 258,000 were from outside the European Economic Area (EEA). Of this latter group, 54% are now British nationals, so presumably the rest are
not.

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