- Britain could be forced to pay benefits to more migrants under EU plans
- European Commission taking legal action to stop restrictions on benefits
- Comes days after David Cameron pledged to cut handouts to migrants
- Figures show 24,000 families are currently claiming for children abroad
Britain will be forced to pay benefits to even more migrants under EU plans to be fought over in a politically explosive court case.
Officials in Brussels last night confirmed that the European Commission is taking legal action to make Britain lift existing restrictions that prevent some migrants claiming child benefit and child tax credit in the UK. The news comes just days after David Cameron pledged to cut handouts in a bid to reduce soaring immigration.
The case at Europe’s highest court will further anger the public and politicians who have called on the Government to tighten up Britain’s generous welfare system and make the country a less attractive destination for would-be immigrants.
If Britain loses, it will either have to change the law to allow jobless migrant families to claim child benefit, or face paying millions in fines.
Latest figures show 24,000 families are currently claiming child benefit of at least £89 a month for 38,500 children living abroad, at an estimated cost of £30 million a year, while 4,000 claim child tax credit.