Migrant benefit claimants face quiz

East London and West Essex Guardian Series: Iain Duncan Smith says migrants will be questioned about their English language skills and job-seeking efforts before being able to claim income-related benefits Iain Duncan Smith says migrants will be questioned about their English language skills and job-seeking efforts before being able to claim income-related benefits

Migrants are to be questioned about their English language skills and what efforts they have made to find work before being able to claim income-related benefits.

The Government said a "more robust" test is being rolled out at jobcentres across Wales, England and Scotland this week.

In order to pass a habitual residence test, migrants will have to answer more individually tailored questions, provide more detailed answers, and submit more evidence before they will be allowed to make a claim.

For the first time migrants will be quizzed about what efforts they have made to find work before coming to the UK and whether their English language skills will be a barrier to them finding employment.

Secretary of State for Work and Pensions Iain Duncan Smith said: "It is vitally important that we have strict rules in place to protect the integrity of our benefits system.

"The British public are rightly concerned that migrants should contribute to this country and not be drawn here by the attractiveness of our benefits system. And we are taking action to ensure that that is the case.

"The roll-out of the new habitual residence test is the first in a series of measures to ensure that we have a fair system: one which provides support for genuine workers and jobseekers, but does not allow people to come to our country and take advantage. It is a crucial part of our long-term plan to secure Britain's economy."

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