David Cameron faced a blistering backlash from Tory MPs last night as his ‘deal’ to curb immigration spectacularly unravelled.
The Prime Minister tried desperately to defend his referendum stitch-up with Brussels – which he insisted would make the country ‘stronger and better’.
Incredibly, the small print of the draft deal reveals that some overseas workers – far from losing their child benefit altogether – would receive even more.
They will be given extra handouts for children living abroad if the cost of living in their country is higher than the UK.
In some countries – such as Germany, Sweden and Ireland – Britain is already paying child benefit to families of UK-based workers, even though their own payments are higher than this country’s.
In a separate development, Brussels said the ’emergency brake’ for restricting the payments of in-work benefits to migrants for up to four years could be voted down by MEPs, once the referendum is complete. Even if the European Parliament agrees to the changes, they will take three months to implement.
The PM was already under fire for ditching Tory election promises to ban migrants from getting any in-work benefits for four years and stop any child benefit from being sent abroad. Instead, he produced hugely controversial compromises which will allow migrants to gradually receive more and more tax credits the longer they are in the UK. Critics said this provides a perverse incentive for them to stay longer.
On child benefit, payments will be linked to the cost of living in an EU worker’s home country – and, in some cases, this is higher than in Britain. Farcically, this means the bill for sending hand-outs to youngsters in these countries will go up.
Source: The Mail