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Social Policy Review 29Analysis and Debate in Social Policy, 2017$
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John Hudson, Catherine Needham, and Elke Heins

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9781447336211

Published to Policy Press Scholarship Online: January 2018

DOI: 10.1332/policypress/9781447336211.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM POLICY PRESS SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.policypress.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright Policy Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in PPSO for personal use.date: 26 June 2022

Benefit tourism and EU migrant citizens: real-world experiences

Benefit tourism and EU migrant citizens: real-world experiences

(p.181) Nine Benefit tourism and EU migrant citizens: real-world experiences
Social Policy Review 29

Rebecca Ehata

Martin Seeleib-Kaiser

Policy Press

This chapter examines the ‘real-world experiences’ with the British welfare system of EU migrants from a number of older and newer EU member states. According to the ‘welfare magnet theory’, generous welfare states are said to be negatively affected by immigration, as migrants may be attracted by high welfare benefits or services. Contrary to popular discourse in the UK, EU citizens who move to the UK do not have an unconditional right to claim social benefits or services. Rather, their rights largely depend upon their status as an economically active ‘worker’, self-employed person, or as an unemployed worker with retained worker status. EU citizens who are economically inactive have very few social rights outside the member state of origin. Thus, it is not surprising that a large majority of the predominantly young EU migrant citizens who come to Britain do so to work, and are employed in a range of economic sectors.

Keywords:   British welfare system, EU migrants, EU member states, welfare magnet theory, immigration, welfare benefits, social benefits, employment, benefit tourism

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