"Two cheers" for EU legal opinion on benefits

26-Mar-2015 @ 18:30

Anthea McIntyre Anthea McIntyre

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 Anthea McIntyre MEP today cautiously welcomed new legal advice issued to the European Court of Justice on benefit rules.

The Conservative employment spokesman in the European Parliament described the opinion a helpful step in the right direction.

She spoke after ECJ published an opinion from its Advocate General on a case relating to the payment of benefits in Germany to people from other EU countries.

It said EU citizens who travel to a Member State of which they are not nationals in order to seek employment may be excluded from entitlement to certain social benefits. However, if the person in question has already been employed in that Member State, he may not automatically be refused such benefits.

Miss McIntyre said:  "I think we can give this two cheers.  It is decent step in right direction.

"Importantly, it recognises the need for countries to be able where appropriate to deny benefits to nationals from other EU member states who may turn up chiefly to access welfare payments. "

"We are happy for people to come to the UK to work hard and contribute to society, but not just to claim benefits"

"The EU Commission should reflect on this opinion in its planned review of the co-ordination of social security systems. Europe is different from 30 years ago and member states must be allowed flexibility to protect their own benefit systems from abuse and fraud."

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