EU "benefits tourism" ruling blow to UK government

A ruling of the EU Court of Justice reiterating that European nationals cannot exercise their right of free movement to abuse the social security of other Member States has been welcomed by Alyn Smith MEP. 

The Dano case (Germany),in addition to the UCL report on EU migration published last week, is further evidence that Cameron's hype on free movement is unfounded.

The court has ruled that economically inactive citizens or people who move from one EU country to another to receive benefits can be excluded from receiving certain types of social security. The case involves a Romanian woman and her son living in Germany who had been denied access to a benefit from its social security system.

A recent study published by University College London showed that EU migrants who arrived since 2000 were 43% less likely than British people to receive state benefits or tax credits, and 7% less likely to live in social housing.

Commenting, Alyn Smith said:

"This judgment is a welcome blast of fresh common sense through the Westminster hothouse. We need a rational debate based on the facts and reality, not the half-baked truths of UKIP recklessly being repeated by the UK Prime Minister, demeaning his own office and cheapening the debate."

"The Dano case refutes the myth that anyone fresh off the plane can come here to abuse our social security system, it is simply not reality. The ruling makes it clear that Member States can refuse to grant benefits to anyone who has moved to another country purely to seek social assistance.

"This makes the UK Government's position on free movement completely untenable. Not only does research show that EU migrants contribute way more to UK taxes than they receive in benefits - we now we have a ruling reiterating that safeguards can be implemented to prevent people from abusing the system."