Ipswich: Prime Minister In Ipswich To Talk Immigration
25 March 2013, 13:10
David Cameron's chosen University Campus Suffolk to give a speech on immigration.
He's delivering a keynote speech to warn those coming to Britain that they can no longer expect "something for nothing".
From next year, arrivals from the European Union will be stripped of jobseekers benefits after six months unless they can prove they have been actively looking for a job and stand a "genuine chance'' of finding one.
The Government is pledging to beef up the "range and depth'' of questions in the habitual residence test, which checks that people meet residence requirements for housing and income-related benefits.
Mr Cameron is also targeting illegal immigration - doubling the maximum fine for companies that employ illegal workers to £20,000 - and signal action against so-called "health tourism'' that could mean non-EU nationals have to prove they hold insurance before getting care.
The harder line will please the Tory Right, who have blamed the lack of action in such core areas for the party's dismal third place behind the UK Independence Party (Ukip) in the Eastleigh by-election.
In his spring conference address over the weekend, Ukip leader Nigel Farage claimed his willingness to talk about immigration was one of the main reasons for the party's surge in popularity.
Concerns have also been rising over an influx from Bulgaria and Romania when movement restrictions are loosened at the end of this year.
Speaking at an event at UCS, Mr Cameron said: "Ending the something for nothing culture needs to apply to immigration as well as welfare. We're going to give migrants from the European Economic Area (the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) a very clear message. Just like British citizens, there is no absolute right to unemployment benefit.''
"While I have always believed in the benefits of immigration I have also always believed that immigration has to be properly controlled.
"As I have long argued, under the last government this simply wasn't the case. Immigration was far too high and badly out of control. Net migration needs to come down radically from hundreds of thousands a year to just tens of thousands.
"And as we bring net migration down so we must also make sure that Britain continues to benefit from it. That means ensuring that those who do come here are the brightest and the best the people we really need with the skills and entrepreneurial talent to create the British jobs and growth that will help us to win in the global race.''
Insisting the NHS must be able to reclaim money from people who are not eligible for treatment, Mr Cameron said:: "We should be clear that what we have is a free National Health Service, not a free International Health Service.''