The UK government is planning to provide the minimum possible social welfare benefits allowed by EU laws to EU citizens, in the face of fears over immigration from Romania and Bulgaria in 2014. The restrictions could apply to health provision and social benefits. “We want to make sure that when people look at the access to our benefits and our public services that no one thinks we are a soft touch in this country,” said UK Immigration Minister Mark Harper (in picture) yesterday (February 11 ), quoted by British newspaper the Daily Express.
According to the Express, the Minister is considering limiting access to state healthcare to EU citizens that are in work and paying taxes, while asking EU students and those without work to contract medical insurance. Also mentioned is the idea of asking EU citizens living in the UK to leave after three months if they have been unable to secure work and/or cannot prove they have the resources to support themselves for six months.
Mark Harper said he would work with the rest of Europe to prevent the “abuse” of the rights to free movement enshrined in EU law. “We want to make sure we offer what we need to under the treaties, but no more,” said Harper, quoted by the Express.