Immigration PM Talks Tough On Social Housing

Immigration PM Talks Tough On Social Housing

  • Posted: Mar 25, 2013
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Immigrants will not be entitled to social housing for up to five years as part of David Cameron’s plans to reduce net immigration.

Immigrant families will be kept off council house waiting lists for up to five years under a crackdown being unveiled by Prime Minister David Cameron.

He is to set out a tougher approach on housing and benefits in a keynote speech today – promising to tackle the culture of “something for nothing”.

Councils are concerned that only half of local residents are taking the  residency tests for social housing.

Mr Cameron announced today that Britain become a “soft touch” for immigrations under Labour.

Local authorities will have to introduce minimum residency times of between two and five years for joining waiting lists – or justify why they are not.

The Prime Minister is likely to cite figures in his speech showing that nearly one in 10 new social lettings go to foreign nationals. The proportion has risen from 6.5% in 2007-08 to 9% in 2011-12.

The harder line will please the Tory right, who have blamed the lack of action in such core areas for the party’s dismal third place behind UKIP in the Eastleigh by-election.

Concerns are coming when restrictions are loosened at the end of this year when an influx from Bulgaria and Romania is rising.

Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg performed a U-turn last week by abandoning the Liberal Democrats’ controversial “earned citizenship” policy, which would allow illegal immigrants to stay once they have been in the country for more than 10 years.

He said such an amnesty now risked “undermining public confidence”.

Under the new rules, ministers will take steps to ensure British nationals are protected when they move for “genuine reasons” – such as work or family breakdown – by ensuring local authorities retain the ability to set exceptions.

Such protection is already legally in force for members of the Armed Forces.

Mr Cameron is also expected to use his speech to reiterate his commitment to reduce net immigration.

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