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Cameron to immigrants: Contribute to earn your benefits

Staff writer |
Prime Minister David Cameron has issued a warning to EU migrants, saying they must contribute to the UK economy for a minimum of four years before they are allowed to claim in-work benefits.

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In a major speech on immigration, Mr. Cameron outlined a set of proposals that will be pursued by the Conservative Party if it wins the general election in May.

The proposals include stopping immigrants from claiming in-work benefits such as tax credits and social housing for four years; stopping immigrants from claiming child benefits from children living outside the UK; forcing immigrants to leave the country if they have not found work within six months; restricting immigrants' rights to bring family members with them; improving deportation speeds of criminal immigrants; and extending re-entry bans for beggars and fraudsters.

The speech follows figures which showed that net migration had risen above 2010 levels. The Labour Party claimed that the Conservatives had promised to get migration below 100,000 but this was never made a target due to Liberal Democrat opposition.

The Prime Minister said that if the proposals "deaf ears" with Europe, he will "rule nothing out", giving the clearest indication yet that he would be prepared to pull out of the EU.

"We deserve to be heard and we must be heard. Here is an issue which matters to the British people and to our future of the European Union. The British people will not understand - frankly I will not understand - if a sensible way through cannot be found, which will help settle this country's place in the EU once and for all."

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