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slide_337171_3417930_freeI always remember when Ali G was interviewing the late Tony Benn and he asked him if it was called the Welfare state because it was well fair…. Tony Benn was not taken in and was quite amused, unlike some of the celebrities/politicians who Ali G interviewed at that time.

The Treaty of the European Community set out several social objectives regarding welfare: promotion of employment, improved living and working conditions … proper social protection, dialogue between management and labour, the development of human resources with a view to lasting high employment and the combating of exclusion.only amounts to

These are guidelines and different European states focus on different aspects of the model, it has been argued that there are four distinct social models in Europe – the Nordic, British, Mediterranean and the Continental.

As you might expect the total amount committed to welfare is much higher in the Nordic model being 33% of GDP, the British model only amounts to 29% of GDP. There are many differences in the way the different countries implement the guidelines and despite the government talking up its commitment to pensions we have the lowest pensions as a % of GDP out of the 4 models. For more info have a look at Welfare in Europe.

So once again we see that Europe is not imposing its rules on us and usurping our Sovereignty, indeed it is the very nature of the different ways in which welfare is administered in different EU countries which is causing migrants to seek out certain EU countries in preference to others. A commonly held belief is that we are too generous which is why ‘they’ all want to come here.

I am not going to say whether the amount of £20.30 a week for the eldest or only child, £13.40 per additional child is generous or not but it is more than what is available in some countries but less than what is available in others. Also what seems to be a small amount may go a lot further in some countries where the cost of living is much lower.

However Luxembourg for example pays £157.10 per month and it is available immediately on entry. In Ireland it is £110 per month again available immediately, Germany its £155 per month and in Denmark its up to £161 a month but only available after 12 months.

Of course this is just one benefit we also hear a lot about unemployment benefits The UK provides an immediate payment of £71.70 a week in Jobseeker’s Allowance (JSA) after proving you are actively seeking work. EU migrants have to pass the “right-to-reside” test to show they are “economically active”. The European Commission wants to abolish this test. There is also contribution-based additional JSA which is only available after working for at least two years.

Again we are not the best and not the worst, most countries do not pay out immediately, but in Ireland they provide £160 per week available immediately.

So we are not the most generous and our cost of living is quite high.Perhaps if we stopped banging on about how much we fall over backwards to help then getting across the channel might become less attractive.

To see other posts about our EU membership ( there are obviously 49 others, this being number 50) click EU membership summary And if you think any of them particularly relevant then please feel free to reblog or share them.