United Kingdom Welfare Benefit Reforms in 2013–2014: Roma between the Pillory, the Precipice and the Slippery Slope
23 Pages Posted: 5 May 2016
Date Written: 2015
The 2013-2014 welfare benefits reform, which continues to undergo changes post-the 2015 UK election, have led to a dramatic reduction in welfare rights for European Union citizens. A particularly vulnerable and often discriminated group of such migrants are Roma populations who have come to the UK since the 1980s, initially as asylum seekers and currently as economic migrants. This article presents preliminary findings from an on-going research study that investigates the impact these changes have had on UK-resident EU/EEA Roma migrants and their families, in particular focusing on Income-Based Jobseeker's Allowance and Housing Benefit. The findings indicate that claiming these welfare benefits can be a daunting process for this migrant group, and refusal of a claim may raise further investigations about their right to reside. This, we observe, is the result of an institutional anti-immigration agenda that trickles down from the political elite to administrative bodies assessing welfare benefits claims.
Keywords: welfare benefits reform, EU migration, European Union citizenship, Roma, discrimination
JEL Classification: K39
Suggested Citation: Suggested Citation