Nigel has today spoken out in the House of Commons in support of the Prime Minister’s campaign to stop £30 million in child benefit being sent from Britain to families in other EU countries. It is presently the situation that migrant workers can claim child benefit even if their child are not resident in the UK, a practice being used by thousands of people. The Chancellor of Germany Angela Merkel recently backed the Prime Minister’s position to only grant Child Benefit at the level in the migrant’s own country.
Addressing the Leader of the House of Commons, the Rt Hon Andrew Lansley CBE MP, Mr Evans said
‘There has to be something wrong when we spend £30 million of our money by sending it abroad to youngsters who have never set foot in the United Kingdom via the payments that we give in support to these children. I believe that we now have the support of Germany on this. I think it is therefore an area where real reform can now be made.’
To which Mr. Lansley replied, ‘I noted the reports this morning about debates in the Bundestag about exactly these issues of transfer payments and benefit payments to other countries. That highlights the fact that there is a growing sympathy for what our Prime Minister and members of this Government have been saying about the necessity of the free movement of peoples being about free movement for the purposes of work, not of access to benefits.’
Speaking from Westminster after the debate Mr Evans said, “I was greatly encouraged by the Leader of the House’s response and feel very strongly that this is an issue where real progress has to be made. It cannot be right that a migrant worker from Romania receives £146 a month in child benefit when the equivalent in Romania is only £7. I am hopeful that given Angela Merkel’s support a change in this policy will come.”