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Britain to stop housing benefit for jobless EU migrants in April

Published on Jan 20, 2014 7:49 PM

LONDON (REUTERS) - Britain will stop helping jobless immigrants from other countries in the European Union with their housing costs from April, two cabinet ministers said on Monday, saying they wanted to reverse "a shameful betrayal" of British workers.

In comments likely to further strain tensions with EU officials who have accused Prime Minister David Cameron's government of scaremongering about intra-EU immigration, the ministers said they were acting after evidence showed British workers were being displaced by migrants.

Mr Cameron's Conservative-led government is seeking to counter the popularity of the UK Independence Party (UKIP), ranked as Britons' favourite political party, by toughening rules on immigration and welfare benefits.

Opinion polls show British voters rank immigration as one of their biggest worries, though business leaders have cautioned that they have trouble finding low-skilled workers to do low wage jobs of the kind often filled by migrants.

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