Cameron yesterday claimed in a speech that 43 per cent of EU migrants claimed benefits in the UK within four years of arrival – but provided no source or visible working for his claim. The UK Statistics Authority castigated the Government over Cameron’s citation of questionable figures purporting to show how many European Union migrants claim benefits in the UK. The UK Statistics Authority accused the Government of avoiding scrutiny by withholding key sources and calculations that could have led to the figures being debunked before yesterday’s headlines were written. It said the way in which the figures were disclosed was 'unsatisfactory' and prevented effective scrutiny.
When Cameron claimed on Monday that some 40% of recent migrant workers to the UK are "on benefits" most people would understand (and were meant to understand) that they were "workshy scroungers". But he himself admitted that most of these would be receiving tax credits, i.e would be working and, of course, in low-paid jobs.
If Cameron had his way and EU migrants were barred from getting tax credits (no chance of that happening though) they would have an income below the meagre official "poverty line" and not be able to survive in a fit state to work. Incidentally, I don't think there is anything in the EU Treaties stopping him barring non-EU migrants receiving tax credits, eg Filipino nurses, so why doesn't he do it? The fact that he is not thinking of doing this suggests he wouldn't do it to EU migrants even if Britain withdrew from the EU.