British protests over benefit tourism and abuse of EU free movement has been ignored by new Brussels proposals by making it easier for migrants to move to Britain including redress against any breach of rights.
On Wednesday, Theresa May, the Home Secretary, with support from Germany, Austria and Holland wrote to the European Commission demanding tighter restrictions on access to welfare benefits and other state-funded services for EU migrants.
A proposal for a new directive to make it easier for people to exercise their rights in practice has been the response of the commission which is in defiance of British claims that the current rules on free movement were being abused by migrants.
The EU commissioner for “employment social affairs and inclusion” said there were high levels of unemployment in some member states than others at the moment and it was important to make it easier for those who wanted to work in other EU countries.
He said British concerns were basically arising due to domestic reasons. Though figures were requested from their administration they never received them he said. There was no concrete evidence or analysis of the situation he said.
The EU directive would oblige the Government "to create national contact points providing information, assistance and advice so that EU migrant workers, and employers, are better informed about their rights" including access to social and tax advantages.
Migrants, who don’t get access to work or the same social benefits as Britons, would be given an appropriate means of redress at national level under the new EU legislation. Any EU worker believing he/she has been the victim of discrimination on the grounds of nationality should be able to make use of appropriate administrative and/or judicial procedures to challenge the discriminatory behaviour," requires the EU legislation he added.
Most of the problems stem from indirect discrimination or unjustified restrictions on the exercise of workers' right to free movement such as residence criteria governing eligibility for certain social and tax advantages.
In a joint letter on Wednesday to the commission, Britain, Germany, Austria and Holland warned that migrants from EU member’s states are putting "considerable strain" on schools, healthcare and the welfare state.
The protest is coming following the lifting of restrictions on Romanian and Bulgarian migrants who are preparing to come to the Britain after restrictions on their right to work are lifted at the end of the year. This type of immigration would put pressure on the host societies especially in provision of schooling, health and adequate housing the letter said. Additionally social welfare systems would be under tremendous pressure it said.
And in contrast to the commissions new proposal to make it easier for migrants to claim benefits the letter said it was difficult to remove people who committed fraud or abused the provisions governing the freedom of movement. The provisions can be interpreted as there is no ban on re-entry it could be seen that those who have been expelled for fraud or document forgery cannot be stopped from re-entering the country the very next day the letter complained.