PRIME Minister Cameron yesterday announced plans for a new raft of savage attacks on migrant workers.
In a widely publicised speech given in a factory in the West Midlands, he outlined plans to be carried out if the Tories win next year’s general election.
• Banning EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits, such as tax credits, and getting access to social housing for four years
• Stopping migrants from claiming child benefit and tax credits for children living outside the UK
• Deporting migrants after six months if they have not found work
• Restricting the right of migrants to bring family members into the UK
• Refusing Universal Credit for EU jobseekers
• ‘Fast track’ deportation of convicted criminals
• Refusing work permits for citizens from new countries joining the EU from working in the UK until ‘their economies’ have ‘converged more closely’ with existing members.
Cameron urged other EU leaders to support his ‘reasonable’ proposals.
He added that lower EU migration would be a priority in future negotiations on the UK’s membership of the EU and he said he would ‘rule nothing out’ if he did not get the changes he wanted.
However, Cameron said he was confident he could change the basis of EU migration into the UK and therefore campaign for the UK to stay in the EU in a future referendum planned for 2017.
He began his speech by saying migration had benefitted the UK and that he was proud of the ‘multiracial’ nature of modern Britain.
But he went on to claim immigration levels in recent years were the largest in peacetime and had put unsustainable pressure on public services and pledged his proposed changes will create the ‘toughest welfare system’ for migration in Europe.
Reacting to Cameron’s speech, Labour leader Miliband said: ‘This is somebody who made a promise at the last general election.
‘He said “no ifs, no buts”, he will get net migration down and it’s gone up.’
But Green Party leader Natalie Bennett said that ‘benefits tourism’ and ‘health tourism’ are ‘non-existent problems that the government has not been able to produce evidence of’.
She added: ‘We have major problems in Britain with low wages, with housing shortages and high costs, with crowded schools and hospitals.
‘These are not caused by immigration, but by failures of government policy.’