United Kingdom Prime Minister David Cameron wants to stop providing benefits to immigrants who do not speak English. He wants to cut the country’s welfare expenditures.
The Prime Minister reportedly wants to stop printing welfare literature in foreign languages and prevent claimants using taxpayer-funded translators at benefits offices.
It is hoped the scrapping of foreign-language documentation explaining how to claim benefits will make it harder for immigrants to make use of the UK’s benefits system, while encouraging those already in the country to learn English. The measures would also save the money spent on translators.
Here is the financial breakdown:
Latest figures show the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) spends £5 million on language services a year. The vast majority, £4.5 million, is spent on face-to-face and telephone help, with £415,000 more on ‘document translation’.
The DWP used interpreters 271,695 times in the space of one year to assist foreign claimants, statistics released under the Freedom of Information Act show. Most of the money is paid to The Big Word, Britain’s biggest language services firm, which received £3.5 million in public money during 2011.
The plan was going to be announced on January 20, but Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg disagrees with the it. Despite this, Tory sources told The Daily Mail they believe it will pass if they can win over the Liberal Democrats. Former Defense Secretary Liam Fox said the plan has to be presented in a inoffensive way:
If it is, it will meet with general public approval. The ability to speak English is one of the most empowering tools in the labour market and we should be encouraging as many people as possible to learn it.
On January 1, Britain lifted restrictions on Romanians and Bulgarians to work in the country; one of the conditions included they prove they understand English. They did pass laws to stop immigrants from claiming unemployment the minute they step into the UK and must provide a certificate that confirms their employment. No one will receive social benefits in the first six months.