Immigrants: Social Security Benefits

Treasury written question – answered at on 28 January 2013.

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Photo of Keith Vaz Keith Vaz Chair, Home Affairs Committee, Chair, Home Affairs Committee

To ask the Chancellor of the Exchequer what estimate he has made of the number of migrants residing in the UK who claim benefits on behalf of children living abroad, broken down by country of residence of the child.

Photo of Sajid Javid Sajid Javid The Economic Secretary to the Treasury

The main purpose of child benefit and the child tax credit is to support families in the UK. Consequently, the rules for these benefits generally do not provide for them to be paid in respect of children who live abroad.

Nevertheless, both child benefit and the child tax credit are family benefits under EC Regulation 883/2004. This regulation protects the social security rights of nationals of all member states of the European economic area (EEA), including the UK, and Switzerland when they exercise their rights of free movement under EU law.

Around 7.5 million families are currently claiming child benefit for around 13 million children and approximately 5.2 million families are receiving the child tax credit for almost 9.3 million children. Of that total, at 31 December 2012, there were 24,082 ongoing child benefit awards under EC Regulation 883/2004 in respect of 40,171 children living in another member state and 4,011 ongoing child tax credit awards under the regulation in respect of 6,838 children living in another member state.

The breakdown by member state is as follows:

Child benefit
Country Number of ongoing awards as at 31 December 2012 Number of children in ongoing awards as at 31 December 2012
Austria 29 47
Belgium 138 274
Bulgaria 174 238
Cyprus 53 80
Czech Republic 176 282
Denmark 20 35
Estonia 43 63
Finland 16 30
France 1,080 2,003
Germany 366 641
Greece 51 76
Hungary 132 203
Iceland 3 5
Italy 193 330
Latvia 853 1,117
Lithuania 1,276 1,772
Luxembourg 10 21
Malta 14 21
Netherlands 192 379
Norway 14 65
Poland 15,499 25,659
Portugal 239 364
Republic of Ireland 1,281 2,609
Romania 196 328
Slovakia 1,083 1,881
Slovenia 7 13
Spain 756 1,275
Sweden 66 122
Switzerland 122 238
Totals 24,082 40,171
Child tax credit
Country Number of ongoing awards as at 31 December 2012 Number of children in ongoing awards as at 31 December 2012
Austria 3 4
Belgium 4 11
Bulgaria 52 66
Cyprus 2 6
Czech Republic 25 38
Denmark 1 1
Estonia 9 9
Finland 2 3
France 95 203
Germany 38 60
Greece 5 11
Hungary 43 65
Iceland 0 0
Italy 13 21
Latvia 178 243
Lithuania 339 484
Luxembourg 1 2
Malta 2 2
Netherlands 10 22
Norway 6 18
Poland 2,278 3,829
Portugal 22 40
Republic of Ireland 611 1,207
Romania 45 68
Slovakia 141 256
Slovenia 1 2
Spain 79 153
Sweden 3 10
Switzerland 3 4
Totals 4,011 6,838

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