Czechs in the UK can claim large welfare benefits from May 1

British cabinet ministers have conceded that immigrants from the Czech Republic and other new EU states will be able to claim large welfare benefits come May 1. The expiry of a seven-year ban on welfare restrictions, created when the eight former Soviet bloc countries joined the EU in 2004, mean that some 100,000 immigrants will be able to claim up to £250 (7,100 crowns) per week in jobseekers’ allowances, council tax benefits and housing benefits if they can prove they have worked, intend to work again and want to live in the UK. Some fear a new wave of economic migration. However, the UK’s Department of Work and Pensions says that strict rules are in place to protect the system from abuse.