IDS: Government working on migrant benefit restrictions


Iain Duncan Smith has confirmed to MPs that the government is looking at how it can extend the three month qualifying period for migrant benefits.

The work and pensions secretary said he was in discussions with other EU nations to try to restrict the benefits migrants can claim when they move from one EU country to another.

A three-month ban on EU migrants claiming UK out-of-work benefits came into force earlier this month.

But Conservative MP Nigel Mills suggested during the departmental question session on 13 January 2014 that the government should "go further" and increase the qualifying period to one year.

Mr Duncan Smith replied: "Well, as has been made clear a bit beyond this chamber were are actually looking at that at the moment.

"We have been discussing it with a number of other European nations - the vast majority of whom are absolutely clear and with us on the idea that freedom of movement should not result in an opportunity to take benefits from wherever you want and to pick and choose your benefits area, so we are looking at how we can come to an agreement about those timescales and those limits."

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