UK New Test for Migrants to Block 'Benefits Тourists'Bulgaria in EU | December 13, 2013, Friday // 15:53| views
Duncan Smith said Britons were "rightly concerned" about migrant benefits. File photo
UK Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith has once again defied the European Commission, saying "more robust" questioning for migrant benefit claimants would protect the integrity of the benefits system.
"It is vitally important that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of our benefits system. The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country, and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system."
He said: "It is vitally important that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of our benefits system.
"The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system. And we are taking action to ensure that that is the case.
"The roll-out of the new habitual residence test is the first in a series of measures to ensure that we have a fair system - one which provides support for genuine workers and jobseekers, but does not allow people to come to our country and take advantage.
"It is a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain's economy."
Fears of an influx of Bulgarian and Romanian immigrants into the United Kingdom as of the beginning of the new year have prompted the government to roll out a more robust habitual residence test.
The test is a list of questions officials at Jobcenters can ask to determine if someone qualifies for Jobseeker's Allowance, the benefit most used by immigrants.
The new 100 questions in the fresh habitual residence test is being rushed out ahead of the transitional controls on Romanians and Bulgarians being lifted on 1 January.
In order to pass a habitual residence test, migrants will have to answer more individually tailored questions, provide more detailed answers, and submit more evidence before they will be allowed to make a claim.
For the first time migrants will be quizzed about what efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and whether their English language skills will be a barrier to them finding employment.
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