Clause 51 — Period of entitlement to contributory allowance

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Prime Minister – in the House of Commons at 1:00 pm on 1st February 2012.

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Photo of Chris Grayling Chris Grayling The Minister of State, Department for Work and Pensions 1:00 pm, 1st February 2012

It relates to someone who has not lived in the UK for most of the past 15 years, although she is a British national and has a link to the UK. The implication of the court case is that somebody who has a link to the UK but who has had no recent contact with it is none the less entitled to receive benefits. That is where we disagree with the European Court and why we think that its decision was wrong.

We think that the best way to close this door is to abolish the ESA youth provision, but it is not the only reason we are abolishing the youth provision. It is by no means the sole rationale for doing so, but as a matter of principle it is our view that we should make every effort to ensure that our benefits are paid only to those whom we think should be paid UK benefits—those who have recent connections to, or have lived in, the United Kingdom.