He set out hoping to persuade the EU to accept the withdrawal of UK in-work benefits from migrant workers; now it seems he’ll use the same plan to withdraw the same benefits from UK citizens who have been working abroad.
Neither act would be remotely fair.
In-work benefits are paid because neoliberal governments like Cameron’s and those of Brown, Blair, Major and Thatcher before him, failed to hold employers to a simple standard regarding the workforce: Payment of a “living” wage that covers all their costs.
Without a living wage, in-work benefits – tax credits – were devised to stop people from going into debt.
Now it seems Cameron is planning to withdraw those benefits from EU migrants and UK expatriates alike, making it uneconomical for this country’s own citizens to return to the land of their birth. That is a betrayal.
And how long will it be before he tries to take the same benefits from people here in the UK? Tax credits are set to become part of Universal Credit, but it would be a lot cheaper for the Tories if they were dissolved altogether.
They don’t care that this would throw low-paid workers into a deep debt trap. It’s what they want. A worker in debt is a desperate worker, and a desperate worker will accept substandard conditions.
You’d better pray that the other EU countries see through this and turn him down.
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.
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