As usual the Conservative Government drags its feet over a Freedom of Information request – even though this is operational information that should be easily available.

Could it be that the Tories are afraid investigators in the media have found yet another ‘stealth’ method of penalising British citizens while claiming to be protecting us?

And will the information show that the Tories are lying to us (quelle surprise!) about the number of people from other countries who claim benefits here?

Conservatives like to talk about simplifying the system but issues like this show that this is impossible and attempts to pretend it is simpler than the facts show will only result in injustice.

It’s time for the Conservative Government to confess the facts and make any necessary changes, so we have information we can trust before going to any referendum.

The deputy leader of the Labour party, Tom Watson, has accused the government of hiding essential information before the planned EU referendum by failing to disclose official figures on the number of migrant benefit claimants in Britain.

HM Revenue & Customs is refusing to disclose how many British nationals claiming tax credits are being counted as migrants. The number in question inflates the figure for immigrant families claiming in-work benefits and potentially means any policy aimed at restricting the benefits of EU migrants could hit thousands of Britons.

As the Guardian revealed last October, HMRC defines “non-UK families” as those where at least one adult in the claimant family is a migrant, meaning that mixed families where one partner is a British national are classed as immigrants.

Following that story, a freedom of information request was submitted to HMRC asking how many claimants classed as part of migrant families were British nationals.

Under FoI terms, a response was due by mid-November but the figures have yet to be released.

Source: Key data on migrant benefit claimants being hidden, Tom Watson says | Politics | The Guardian

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