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08 January 2016

The Guardian: Cameron could extend tax credits ban to British expats to reach EU deal

Prime minister is looking at whether ban on in-work benefits could also apply to Britons living abroad for four years or more, according to The Guardian.

British expatriates could be banned from claiming tax credits for up to four years as part of a compromise deal David Cameron is negotiating with fellow EU leaders, the Guardian understands.

In an attempt to win support for his proposal to ban EU migrants from claiming in-work benefits for four years, the prime minister is looking at whether the ban could apply to Britons who live abroad for four years or more.

The plan could prove controversial among British workers who take advantage of EU free movement rules to relocate to countries such as Spain, and who would expect to be able to top up low wages through tax credits on their return to Britain.









Downing Street appears to be ready to risk a row with such expatriates as the price for brokering a compromise with fellow EU leaders on Cameron’s welfare proposals, which are the most difficult part of his EU renegotiation.

The prime minister looks to be reaching out to fellow EU leaders by signalling that the four-year ban on in-work benefits would only apply to new arrivals to the UK from other EU countries. This means that about a million migrant workers from the Visegrad group of countries – Poland, Hungary, Czech Republic and Slovakia – working in the UK would be free to continue claiming tax credits without any restrictions. [...]


© The Guardian

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