I've been paying into the system for almost 20 years now and am entitled to less than the average person from Poland who has probably been here less than 5 years. How is that right ?
Examples? Pretty please?
I hope you know that the new EU state members are only entitled to benefits if they can prove 12 month's continuous employment (Workers' Registration Scheme - £90.00) prior to applying, plus they are supposed to remain employed throughout. So Child Benefit, Housing Benefit, WTC and CTC, and council housing (in appropriate cases) are only accessible if you have worked and continue working. If you are very ill, disabled, or cannot find work for a long period of time, social services will inevitably ask you whether you would not prefer to go home, i.e. to your country of origin. And they withdraw funding as well, so no assistance with housing or rehabilitation is forthcoming. Which I am fine with, as it makes absolute sense. It's a pity though that this sensible approach only applies to this particular group of migrants.
I recently interpreted for a young Polish Roma couple at the housing dept. of one of the London boroughs - they live with their in-laws, the girl only recently arrived in the UK, the boy is unemployed, and they want a place of their own because the house is crowded. So they apply for council housing. The officer tells them they are not entitled to any support because they are not working and cannot prove 12 months' worth of WRS registered employment in the past. So far, so good. Then suddenly it turns out that the boy comes from a family which was granted Indefinite Leave to Remain before 1st May 04. So they are entitled to council housing, no problem at all! :-O
Other people may have serious housing problems, experience conflicts with a dishonest landlord, or whatever. But this adorable young couple who have never worked a single day of their lives only need come in and say that they want a place of their own, and shall get what they want - for free. Because Mum and Dad knew what to tell the immigration officers way back in 1999. :-/
The system is totally f***ed. I really feel sorry for the UK. But you have your nicey-nice politicians to blame, I'm afraid...