Wednesday, June 12, 2024

UK taxpayers funding child benefit payment for 40,000 kids whose families have moved abroad

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Rules mean UK citizens are entitled to receive benefit payments even if they move to another European Union country

Questions: Priti Patel uncovered the figures(Rex Features)

Taxpayers are funding child benefit payments to 40,000 children who live overseas, it emerged today.

Ministers admitted the payments – worth £20.30 a week for the first child and £13.40 for others – are paid to thousands of parents living in Europe at an estimated cost of £36million.




Brussels rules mean UK citizens are entitled to receive benefit payments even if they move to another European Union country.

At the end of last month there were 23,855 families living overseas claiming for a total of 40,251 children.

The majority of the claims were for families living in Poland, where 25,623 children receive child benefit.

In France 2,146 children get the benefit, 2,529 in Republic of Ireland, 1,953 in Slovenia, 1,291 in Spain, 1,710 in Lithuania and 1,109 in Latvia.

Tory MP Priti Patel, who uncovered the figures through parliamentary questions, said: “Hard-pressed taxpayers will be appalled to see their pockets being pillaged to pay out millions of pounds in child benefit payments for children living in other parts of Europe.

“This is deeply unfair and demonstrates yet again that some European immigrants are using crazy EU laws to get away with abusing our benefits system.

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