November 27, 2019
New analysis has revealed that Jeremy Corbyn’s plan to continue free movement with EU countries would cost DWP over £4 billion in extra benefit costs over the next 10 years, dramatically increasing the size of the nation’s benefits bill.
The analysis shows that continuing free movement with the EU would result in a dramatic increase in the number of people coming to Britain over 10 years. This would increase the size of the benefits bill by over £4 billion over the same period. None of this is costed in Labour’s manifesto.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions said:
Jeremy Corbyn has no plan for Brexit. The only policy he has committed to is maintaining free movement in all circumstances. He is completely out of touch with the concerns of ordinary voters.
This analysis highlights the cost of Corbyn’s immigration policy to our public services. The shocking thing is that this is yet another line item in Labour’s long list of uncosted pledges that will mean higher taxes for all of us. The UK can’t afford the cost of Corbyn and can’t afford the chaos of another two referendums. The only way to get Brexit done and focus on people’s priorities is to vote Conservative on 12 December.”
Jeremy Corbyn has no plan for Brexit and will not even say if he thinks we should leave or remain. Rather, on the biggest issue he would face as Prime Minister, Corbyn has committed to staying neutral.
The only thing Corbyn is clear about in his Brexit plan, is that he would keep free movement, whether we leave or remain - he is an advocate of the UK being subject to uncontrolled and unlimited immigration, forever. The Labour manifesto states that 'freedom of movement would continue’, either via continued EU membership or via a negotiation which ‘will seek to protect those [free movement] rights’. This would mean at least net migration of 260,000 a year, and possibly even higher.
This departs departs from the earlier promises in the Labour Party’s 2017 Manifesto, that ‘Freedom of movement will end when we leave the European Union’ and that ‘Labour accepts the result of the referendum’
Leading members of the Shadow Cabinet have confirmed that their intention is to ‘extend’ free movement:
The manifesto makes makes clear that Corbyn will ‘end the minimum income requirements’ on family reunion, opening the door to a vast increase in the number of dependents coming to the UK from around the world and putting huge pressure on our NHS and other vital public services.
The Labour manifesto also commits to scrapping the Immigration Act 2014 which will severely undermine the UK’s ability to crack down on illegal immigration and investigate sham marriages
Further, the manifesto states that Labour will close the Yarl’s Wood and Brook House detention centres, which will give a green flag to people traffickers to try to bring illegal immigrants to the UK in greater numbers and risks tragedies.
We have modelled Jeremy Corbyn’s immigration policy using the latest publicly available government statistics and projections. In this scenario there are still no border controls with European Union and European Economic Area (EEA) countries due to Labour’s policy to ‘maintain free movement rights’. Immigration continues as set out in government projections for net migration over the next ten years.
We have modelled what the impact would be on the total cost of benefits for these migrant flows, set out below. The average cost per migrant does not assume that every migrant is a benefit claimant, but is used as a statistical tool to give an average of the total across the total migrant population. This analysis looks at the impact on the DWP budget exclusively, not at other economic impacts.
We have assumed that EEA nationals must be resident for 3 months before they are eligible for any benefits. Most benefits (UC, JSA (C), ESA (C), DLA/PIP/AA, HB, CA, State Pension, Winter Fuel Payments, and Pension Credit) are included in the figures. Child Benefit, which is the responsibility of HMRC, has not been included. This is based on the same methodology that DWP has used to calculate the benefit cost of EEA population in the UK.
This figure is likely to be an underestimate as, to be fair to Labour, we have: (i) not assumed any expansion in the EU member states; (ii) assumed that the benefits eligibility remains the same; (iii) only looked at the impact of increased EEA migration, not at how Corbyn’s policies could lead to an increase in the number of people from around the world.
In contrast, the Conservative manifesto pledges that ‘People coming into the country from the EU will only be able to access unemployment, housing, and child benefit after five years, in the way non-EEA migrants currently do’.
Additionally, the Conservatives’ Australian-style points-based system would mean that we would be able to prioritise migrants who would contribute most to our economy and support public services such as the NHS.
Commenting, Therese Coffey, Secretary of State for the Department of Work and Pensions, said:
“Corbyn’s Pension Tax will see ten million savers facing a huge bill forcing them to delay their retirement for almost three and a half years.
“This is just one of the ways a Corbyn government would hammer hardworking people on top of his plans to hike up taxes by £2,400 a year, as well as the cost of his plan for unlimited immigration and the chaos of 2020 being dominated by two more referendums – one on Brexit and another on Scottish independence.
“Only Boris Johnson and the Conservative Party can get Brexit done with a deal, get parliament working again and turbocharge our economy to unleash Britain’s potential.”