It seems that a Romanian woman who came to this country very recently thanks to the EU, has succeeded in claiming £28,000 per year in state benefits. Because Firuta Vasile sells The Big Issue magazine she is classed as self-employed and is therefore eligible for Child Benefit for her four children, tax credits, Housing Benefit, Council Tax benefit and goodness knows what else in our crazy system. To give the council credit, it did turn her down at first, but she went to appeal to a tribunal and guess what? They granted her Human Rights. And she also got legal aid.
Meanwhile her four children are getting free education in British schools.
This has naturally drawn some protests from the hard-working self-reliant people who earn half that amount or far less. Most of them never claim anything or get refused benefits after living here and paying their taxes and national insurance for a lifetime:-
I am always intrigued by the attempts of left-wingers to excuse this sort of case. One argument used in the Guardian is that the amounts paid in housing benefit for rented accommodation are no higher on average than those paid for mortgaged accommodation.
I can't imagine why they think that is any defence. Anyway, only a tiny percentage of housing benefit claimants have mortgages. The vast majority pay rent. The point is that they get accommodation that would be very expensive on the open market. Meanwhile other people, who do work, cram into small houses in inconvenient areas.
Another favourite left-wing excuse is that the rental money does not go to the claimants, it goes to their landlords. That is rather like saying that the vast bonuses of bankers do not go to them, but to their chauffeurs, cleaners, restaurant chefs, airline pilots, and the companies who build their luxury holiday villas!
Or like saying that the money paid to the landlords doesn't go to them, it goes to their wives and children, their supermarkets and the local petrol station. Yes, but they still get something for it don't they?
It is a sad fact that the Labour party, once the party of the workers, now seems to have become the Layabout party, always ready to defend claimants.
Of course I am not saying that all the 500,000 Romanians who have flooded to this country in the past four years are on the dole. In fact, many of them are taking jobs that people previously resident here could do instead of taking the dole.
It is estimated that 12% of the poopulation of Romania has left in the last few years since the EU borders were opened up. Some of them of course, have left for good professional reasons. The wonderful opera singer Angela Gheorghiu is one of these and I would not expect her to stay in one country. But surely she is an exceptional case.
Unless an economy is growing at a frantic rate, it could not possibly employ so many newcomers without creating unemployment in the existing population. Since our economy is in a very depressed state, with 8.4% out of work already, why are agencies advertising British jobs in Romania? It's not as if there are any jobs in Romania for British people to go and take. There is nothing to tempt us there, so the policy of "free movement of labour" is a one-way street. It would be sensible to take only those who are really needed to do a job nobody here can take on.
But let's be grateful to the East European immigrants for one thing. They have proved that we who still think that a country is entitled to regulate immigration are not racist. There is no race issue with Eastern European immigrants, so nobody can play the race card. Firuta Vasile is white.
Meanwhile, hundreds our war veterans are jobless and homeless when they return to this country and many are begrudged benefit payments too.