Benefits for Overseas Children Cost UK Taxpayer £1 million per week

February 04, 2013

The taxpayer is forking out over £1 million per week in child benefit to the parents whose children who do not even live in the UK, the think tank Migration Watch UK reveals today in a new Briefing Paper.

The revelation comes following the disclosure that child benefit and tax credits are paid in respect of almost 50,000 children who live across the EU.

The majority, almost 30,000, of the 50,000 children who receive child benefit and child tax credits at UK rates live in Poland.

Child benefit in the UK is worth £81.20 per month for the first child and £53.60 for the second and subsequent  children.  This is roughly four times higher than Polish rates.

Only in the UK, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia and the Netherlands do the rules allow child benefit to be paid for children who live elsewhere in the EU. The remaining 22 countries require that the child be resident in the territory in order to qualify.

Commenting, Sir Andrew Green, Chairman of Migration Watch UK, said, ‘It is absurd that child benefit is paid to children who do not even live in the UK. At a time that UK taxpayers are being asked to tighten their belts, the government is paying out over £1 million per week to support children in other countries where costs are, in any case, often much lower. The majority of EU countries have the good sense to ensure that the child in question must be resident in that country in order to qualify and it is about time the UK did the same.’

Note to Editors:

See Parliamentary Question, Mr Keith Vaz, 28 January 2013, Column 619W

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