David Cameron is working very hard to make immigrants who have come to the UK into second-class citizens.
Today we learn that he is to “press” other EU leaders into accepting his demand that migrants be stripped of in-work benefits and child benefit for up to four years after their arrival here.
This defeats the point of tax credits, which exist to help people who make a positive contribution to the UK economy – as anybody who works here does.
By spending the money they earn, they lubricate the economy and help it to grow – the cash gains economic value as it passes from one person to another, and more such value is created if it starts its journey among those earning the least.
David Cameron does not understand this. He does not realise that his planned persecution will not stop people coming to the UK but will certainly harm their economic effectiveness.
He might be on more solid ground if he concentrated on child benefit. It has been claimed that migrants don’t use this money but send it back to their original home, to support family members there. That isn’t the intention of the benefit and, if it is being misused, access to it may rightly be denied.
As it is, he is simply trying to induct the rest of the EU into his cruelty.
David Cameron has signalled that he will press for further concessions from Brussels after playing down evidence of a breakthrough in his effort to stop EU citizens claiming welfare on arrival in the UK.
The prime minister said he was encouraged by signals from the European commission that it was prepared to offer new “emergency brake” powers to allow the UK to ban migrants from within the EU from claiming working family tax credits and child benefit for up to four years.
But, speaking to BBC Scotland after his flight from Aberdeen to see the commission president, Jean-Claude Juncker, in Brussels was delayed by Storm Gertrude, Cameron said there was still a long way to go before he would agree a deal.
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