Cameron pledge hous­ing curbs for im­mi­grants


U.K. Prime Min­is­ter David Cameron will an­nounce plans to curb ac­cess to wel­fare, hous­ing and free health care for nonBri­tons, as po­lit­i­cal par­ties jos­tle to per­suade vot­ers they un­der­stand con­cerns over mass im­mi­gra­tion.

Cameron will set out mea­sures in a speech to­day that will re­strict the rights of for­eign­ers to claim un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fits af­ter six months, ac­cord­ing to ex­tracts re­leased by his of­fice. He'll also an­nounce that lo­cal gov­ern­ments will be ex­pected to make at least two years' lo­cal res­i­dence a re­quire­ment for qual­i­fy­ing for so­cial hous­ing, and that the state-run Na­tional Health Ser­vice will be stricter about charg­ing to treat for­eign­ers who are in the U.K. tem­po­rar­ily.

With Bri­tain's econ­omy stag­nat­ing, politi­cians of all stripes have been seek­ing to as­suage voter con­cerns about im­mi­gra­tion's pos­si­ble ef­fects on the la­bor mar­ket, pub­lic ser­vices and hous­ing. Cameron's Con­ser­va­tive Party came third in a House of Com­mons spe­cial elec­tion in Eastleigh last month, fin­ish­ing be­hind the anti-im­mi­gra­tion U.K. In­de­pen­dence Party. The prime min­is­ter has said he wants to see net an­nual im­mi­gra­tion re­duced to be­low 100,000.

As part of the mea­sures the pre­mier is an­nounc­ing to­day, ci­ti­zens of other Euro­pean Union coun­tries and some other west­ern Euro­pean na­tions will only be able to claim six months' un­em­ploy­ment ben­e­fit from next year un­less they can show they have a gen­uine chance of find­ing work. Tem­po­rary mi­grants from out­side those coun­tries may need pri­vate health in­surance to qual­ify for NHS treat­ment. Re­stric­tions on na­tion­als from Bul­garia and Ro­ma­nia -- the most re­cent EU mem­bers -- work­ing in Bri­tain will be lifted next year. Labour has at­tacked Cameron's government for fail­ing to re­lease es­ti­mates of how many mi­grants will ar­rive.

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