#AceNewsServices – BRITAIN (London) – October 05 – The UK pays out an average of 600,000 pounds every week in child benefits to parents living outside the country.
Labour said the figures show the government “seems to have given up” on stopping immigrants from gaming EU rules to cheat British taxpayers.
Figures unveiled by the Telegraph show a total of 31 million pounds (US$950,000) was doled out to families of children living abroad in 2013. In total, 20,400 Child Benefit claims were made on behalf of 34,268 children.
Approximately two-thirds of those children reside in Poland.
Others relying on the system include: 1,231 families in Ireland receive payments covering 2,505 children; 1,215 families in Lithuania; 797 families in Latvia; and 789 families in France.
Children living outside of the UK receive the same amount of money as those living in the UK, even if they have never called Britain home. This is true in countries with both a lower cost of living and a lower level of domestic child benefit.
For example, Poland pays out 13.60 pounds ($21.76) a week for children under five, 18.20 pounds ($29) for children aged five to 18 and 19.60 pounds ($31.30) for those aged 18-24 who are enrolled in education. By contrast, British parents receive 20.50 pounds ($32.80) a week for their first child and 13.55 pounds ($21.68) for any further children in Britain.
Excluding Northern Ireland, average wages in Britain are more than 3.6 times higher than in Poland. And according to Numbeo, consumer prices in London are 112.47 percent higher than in Warsaw, rent prices are 306.06 percent greater, and grocery prices in London are 121.48 percent higher than in Warsaw.
Labour said the figures demonstrate that the governing coalition “seems to have given up any effort to end the scandal of millions of pounds of child benefit being sent abroad every year.”
“Rather than admitting defeat the Prime Minister should be ordering his ministers to work with governments across the European Union to bear down on this abuse of our benefits system,” the Telegraph cites Rachel Reeves, the shadow Work and Pensions secretary, as saying during a visit to France last week.