LABOUR’s vow to keep free movement for EU citizens would whack an extra £4 billion onto Britain’s benefits bill, new analysis has revealed.
Net EU migration would continue to grow at around 80,000 a year if the UK continued to run the EU’s open borders policy, according to official government forecasts.
The Tories have used that figure to estimate the cost of continued free movement to the welfare state.
Currently the average EU migrant claims £848 per year in working-age benefits.
This figure takes into account the fact that around four in ten European nationals claim working-age benefits.
EU migrants can start claiming benefits after living in the UK for at least three months.
If net migration continues at current trends then 837,000 more European citizens would move to the UK by the end of next decade compared to now.
That would take the total additional benefits bill to the taxpayer to £4.1 billion by 2029.
In 2020 the extra 80,000 EU migrants would add an extra £50 million to the benefits bill, then by 2021 the total extra cost would rise to £120 million. By the mid-2020s the extra benefits bill would be £435 million.
“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.”
But Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott shot back by accusing the Tories of “dodgy accounting”.
She fumed: “Dog whistle anti-migrant nonsense is the Tories’ fall back position.”
Ms Abbott added: Most European migrants come here to work and are large net contributors to public finances.”