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New Labour are a bunch of Jokers!!!!!!!!! Gordon Brown should now leave for Scotland and never return.

£1m of child benefit paid out a month - to mothers in Poland

by SUE REID - More by this author »

Last updated at 23:56pm on 21st September 2007

Like every good mother, Angela Trajkowski wants the best for her two children.

She buys them new clothes and puts healthy meals on the table, while keeping the family's private flat, overlooking a park in a leafy provincial town, in perfect order.

Her nine-year-old daughter, Martina, attends expensive private lessons after school and her youngest, a four-year-old boy called Alan, will soon be old enough to go to the local kindergarten in the mornings.

Dark-haired Angela, 31, works long hours as an office supervisor but she still relies heavily on child benefit from the state to make ends meet.

Every week, she puts Martina and Alan in the back of her blue Renault Clio and drives the five minutes journey to the cashpoint at her local bank. There, she draws out the £33-a-week put into her family account by the British government. It totals £1,650 each year.

Yet this young Polish mother does not live in Britain. Her home is thousands of miles away in Lubin, a town near the picturesque city of Wroclaw in south-west Poland and close to the German border.

Lubin has no historical links with Britain, while Angela speaks only a smattering of English (learned when she worked for a few months as a cleaner at the London home of singer Bob Geldof and his wife, the late Paula Yates).

Angela is just one of thousands of women across Eastern Europe who, because of the crazy system of hand-outs dispensed by Britain's generous welfare state, are entitled to child benefit.

This week, ministers admitted that more than £1million a month in child benefit is going to the families of youngsters who live in the former Soviet bloc countries.

It was the first time that Labour has acknowledged that the money - funded by British taxpayers - is being paid abroad.

The revelation triggered a political controversy over the fact that the Government is paying for the upbringing of children who do not live in Britain and who may never even have set foot in the country.

It also underlines how our generous benefits system acts as a powerful draw for migrant workers. Moreover, this largesse is open to widespread abuse.

The Trajkowski family qualify for child benefit because their father works in London as a builder and pays his taxes. Like all migrants from the eight East European countries which joined the EU in 2004, he won the right to claim state benefits after working here for a year.

As well as child benefit, Angela Trajkowski's husband, Miroslaw, 33, is also eligible for £296 a month in tax credits because he has two children and his family's total income is £38,000 a year. He has just applied for the benefit and is unlikely to be turned down.

Indeed, even more money is being handed out in tax credits to East Europeans by the British government than in child benefit - although ministers say that information about the total amount now given to 40,000 foreign families is "not available".

Meanwhile 750,000 Eastern Europeans are registered to work in Britain today.

The Home Office expected just 13,000 and gave assurances that the migrants would be unable to exploit the benefits system.

Particularly perturbing is the element of trust which pervades these particular welfare handouts.

Although it is known that 14,000 Eastern European nationals are already claiming child benefit for offspring who live in their home countries, no British officials have ever visited Angela Trajkowski to check that her daughter and son really exist.

The money simply drops every week into the family bank account - no questions asked.

Controversially, on Monday last week, the biggest Polish newspaper in Britain ran a special edition bragging how easy it is for migrants to claim the benefits.

The front page article - under the telling headline Benefit Hunters - stated: "The longer we are here, the more rights to social security we are given and the better we are at taking advantage of them.

"You can apply for benefits as soon as you get a job in Britain."

The child benefit claimed by some families is more than the monthly minimum wage in the poorest of the EU countries of Eastern Europe.

Even in Poland, one of the richer former Communist nations, the figures make staggering reading.

For instance, there the official minimum wage is £171 a month - and the British benefits handed over to a family with three offspring nudges is £169.20. The total is made up of £18.10 a week for the oldest child and £12.10 each of the others.

As well as the Trajkowskis, the Mail found other Polish families receiving the state handouts paid for out of the pockets of British taxpayers.

They were delighted by the generosity and said they had originally heard about the availability of welfare by word of mouth or from job agencies in their own countries.

They had also seen the benefits advertised openly to Eastern Europeans on council websites in migrant hotspots such as Peterborough and Slough.

As for Miroslaw Trajkowski, until eight years ago he was a player for his local Lubin football club. He didn't earn much but he was proud of being a professional sportsman. But then he became injured and lost his place in what has since become a famous team.

Times were hard. It was 1999, he had recently married and there was a new baby, Martina. The only job he could find was as a part-time gardener.

Finally, his eyes turned to England where he moved with his family in 2000. He started work as a builder and his wife tried her hand as a cleaner although they first entered Britain on a tourist visa.

"It was very tough to begin with. We lived in Kilburn. London was not the place to bring up a child. Eventually, we decided I should stay in England and that the family should return to Poland," says Miroslaw.

Angela and their baby daughter returned home while Miroslaw flies back to Poland five times a year to visit.

Today, he works five nights a week, earning £150 a shift, repairing London Underground stations. It is dirty and demanding work.

He lives in Brent Cross, North London, sharing a house with seven other Eastern European workers and pays £70 a week in rent.

It is hardly the good life. "I am not seeing my children grow up and that is hard," he complains. "But the schools and the hospitals are better in my country than in England and I want the best for my children.

"When I visited a hospital in London recently, the doctors had dirty fingernails and the nurse did not know how to treat my infected knee.

"I speak to Angela two times a day - but, otherwise, I work. I do not choose the job I do because I like it, but because I can make the most money."

And what of the child benefits? "They help us out of a hole. They help us survive," he says. "Angela earns only £50 a week in Poland.

"We need the money to pay the bills for the children, including the extra lessons my daughter takes in the English language. Then there is the electricity, the mobile phone and food we put on the table."

Many Poles like him get work here via an employment agency called Kasa in Hammersmith, West London, which has 1,000 migrants on its books. It advises them how to pay their taxes - and claim state help.

One of the directors, Magda Wlodarczyk, said that one in four leave their families behind in Poland and most receive child benefit.

She explained that the amount given by the state is much higher in England than in Poland, where families can only get £4 a month for each child.

"The migrant workers cannot claim from both countries. They choose Britain, of course, and I do not know anyone from Poland who has been turned down by your authorities," added Ms Wlodarczyk.

And what of the other Poles enjoying our generosity?

Miroslaw and Gabriela Maciurzynski come from the small town of Janow Lubelski in eastern Poland, situated in one of the poorest regions of the EU. The roads are pot-holed, there are horse-drawn carts on the road which wind through fields of tobacco and hops grown to help the shaky local economy.

Jobs are scarce and work in Britain, with the accompanying welfare benefits, is a welcome way out.

After the collapse of the Soviet bloc, Miroslaw Maciurzynski, 44, worked as an engineer for Polish Telecom and the couple made enough money to pay off the mortgage on their semi-detached house and bring up their five children, now aged between seven and 22.

However, when Poland was hit by recession three years ago, Miroslaw lost his job and was unemployed for six months. As a result he joined the first wave of migrants to Britain when it became part of the EU.

Today, he earns £1,200 a month as an electrician and lives in a rented house in Hounslow, West London, with a group of other migrant workers. Every month he sends half of his earnings back to his wife. He also claims child benefit of £132 a month for his two youngest daughters, Maja aged seven, and Malgorzata, 15.

The money helps balance the books back in Janow Lubelski. His wife, Gabriela, 47, earns £335-a-month running a children's clothing company with her sister-in-law.

"Without my husband working in England, we really wouldn't cope," she says. "The British child support we receive is both unexpected and wonderful.

"Without the money, we couldn't have afforded to send our eldest three to university and buy the two laptops they use to study. It has completely changed our lives.

"If it wasn't for the British generosity, my husband would probably be forced to working illegally in the United States - like many Poles I know."

Meanwhile, forklift truck driver Peter Rapacz, 36, works for a fruit packing firm in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, while his family remains in Poland.

He sends home half his weekly after-tax wage of £240. In addition, the family receives £33 in child benefit for their two children which is also paid into an account in their home town of Olsztyn, in the north of the country.

Peter came to Britain four years ago and was joined by his wife, Marzena, and their son, Maciek, now ten. The family shared a rented house in the Fens and soon they celebrated the birth of a new baby, Anna, now almost two. But now Peter's family have returned to Poland because they don't want their daughter to grow up in Britain.

Peter explained: "If she stayed in Britain, she would go to school and not learn Polish. Poland is her birth country and we want her to be there."

He plans to visit his family six times a year and lives in a £150-a-week rented house, which he shares with four lodgers. "I find it difficult not seeing my family, but in Britain I can earn in a week what I earn in a month in Poland.

"While I stay in Britain, there are the child benefits for us, too.'

Is it any wonder that the contentious article in last week's Polish Express - boasting of state benefits to migrant workers - is accompanied by a picture of a happy Polish couple, with a baby in a pushchair, being showered with British banknotes?

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I don't dispute the ridiculousness of the situation, but aren't there bigger fish to fry? £1m a month works out at a massive 20p per person per year - well that's my annual dime bar gone :angry:

What about carousel fraud, or the billions pumped into wasteful PFI contracts?

That said the child benefit issue is symptomatic of a government that doesn't care how much money it wastes.

Edited by quantinghome

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£1m of child benefit paid out a month - to mothers in Poland

Dr_Evil.jpg

Yes, we know Labour have made a monumental **** of a lot of stuff, but c'mon, the barrel's finished and you're damaging the lino.

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It is hardly the good life. "I am not seeing my children grow up and that is hard," he complains. "But the schools and the hospitals are better in my country than in England and I want the best for my children.

Who are the mugs eh? Feck it l say good luck to them. In fact if l could, l'd help them all get more and more benefits until the system broke and everyone realised what a complete farce it was.

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So working families earning 38,000 a year can get another 3,500 a year in benefits? Now I understand why I've had a few sheepish looks at work when I rant on about the insane benefit/dependency culture that NL have created. NL will be in power for another 20 years easily. Something for nothing - who's going to vote against that?

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Do you have a link for this?

Seems like typical Daily Mail fodder to me. Give the morons a fresh Johnny-Foreigner story every days to keep them buying.

Compare and contrast.

A Polish man works and pays taxes inthe UK. His wife in Poland gets child benefit.

A British man works and pays tax in the UK. His wife in Basingstoke gets child benefit.

What's the problem with that?

They both pay the same tax and National Insurance. They are both entitled to the same benefits.

The Polish guy should ask for a tax rebate as he's not sending his children to UK school, nor is his family using the NHS. He's unlikely to get a UK pension either, so he is, in fact, probably a net contributor to this country.

By your arguement, UK pensioners retiring to Spain shouldn't have their state pension paid into their Spanish bank accounts. This amounts to the same thing.

Edited by twatmangle

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I have a mate that works in the tax office he told me about this a while back, so I suppose I can vouch its true. Once you are entitled to benefits you receive child benefit for your children even if they have never been to the UK

The welfare state is a complete mess: -

Penalizes thrift and hard work.

Rewards dishonesty and profligate spending.

Operating with the tax system the middle class is bled white, while the rich and the benefit class prosper.

If we are going to fund foreigners living abroard feeding the starving is where we should start IMHO

Edited by Compounded

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I have the strong suspicion it would cost more than a million to refuse these people benefits (if indeed there were any grounds to, I think it is open to debate). One of the great ironies is that most of the time Means Testing (and similar methods of claimant screening) is an "Ethics tax", it doesn't save a penny but rather makes the introduction of a benefits programme more expensive. Supporting it is to support the spending of your taxes on (passively) teaching other people ethical lessons at your expense. In other words, pay 33 quid a week out or pay 50 quid a week for someone to say "no".

Which is the price worth paying? I don't know and the system as a whole hedges both ways.

This is the real reason tax credits were introduced, the theory is they'd be cheap to administer given their binding to tax (for which digital records, a legislative framework for going after liars etc were pre-existing). Problem is it went horribly wrong, which came of trying to do it on the cheap.

I must say that the article was written in a particulary unpleasant manner though, designed to inspire outrage and hate rather than a reasoned consideration of the issues.

Daily Mail I assume.

Twatmangle:

He's unlikely to get a UK pension either, so he is, in fact, probably a net contributor to this country.

Any chance of National Insurance refunds for the under 35s in general then? Hehe, I won't be holding my breath for either a refund or a pension when I'm 90 or whatever the retirement age is going to be raised to.

Edited by Cogs

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The welfare state is a complete mess: -

Penalizes thrift and hard work.

Rewards dishonesty and profligate spending.

Operating with the tax system the middle class is bled white, while the rich and the benefit class prosper.

I agree completely. I hate the fact that my taxes pay for spongers and scroungers. However, I disagree with most people who seem hell-bent on blaming Poles for everything. Most of them are hard-working tax payers, who'll never get any of their taxes back through benefits or pensions. They are doing all of the crappy jobs that most people don't want to do.

Yet we seem to be happy to tolerate sink estates full of yobs and scum layabouts on the basis that they were born here.

Mr.Mangle

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Guest AuntJess
Seems like typical Daily Mail fodder to me. Give the morons a fresh Johnny-Foreigner story every days to keep them buying.

Compare and contrast.

A Polish man works and pays taxes inthe UK. His wife in Poland gets child benefit.

A British man works and pays tax in the UK. His wife in Basingstoke gets child benefit.

What's the problem with that?

They both pay the same tax and National Insurance. They are both entitled to the same benefits.

The Polish guy should ask for a tax rebate as he's not sending his children to UK school, nor is his family using the NHS. He's unlikely to get a UK pension either, so he is, in fact, probably a net contributor to this country.

By your arguement, UK pensioners retiring to Spain shouldn't have their state pension paid into their Spanish bank accounts. This amounts to the same thing.

How long do you think it takes to get a state pension? You have to work for a certain number of years full time and pay full stamp - I think it is 15 years - before you can claim a pension and then it is not a full pension unless you have worked about 40 years.

Working for 12 months before you get full benefits seems like a dreamy deal to me.

For example: My friend and neighbour who worked only 12 years full time in her working life was not entitled to a pension AT ALL, despite working and paying a reduced stamp for about 25 years and a full stamp for 12!! So those years she paid contributions are pocketed by the treasury, to be squaundered on what Gorgon chooses, in his quest to rid the world of poverty at the expense of the English.

Mind you she is born and bred English, so the English-hating GB is happy to leave her out in the cold, along with the rest of the mugs who work to provide the benefits for others. There are probably thousands like her too, as many women worked part time for most of their working life.

As to the Daily Mail crack.(Yawn) You must read it or how would you know what it says. I could not tell you as I rarely read it. I have other sources, nearer to home, on which to base judgements. But then I have been around a while.

Long enough to know that a pension is not forthcoming until you have put a lot more than 12 months into the kitty.

PS you live up to your name. :lol:

Edited by AuntJess

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a pension is not forthcoming until you have put a lot more than 12 months into the kitty.

Thank you for taking the time and effort to agree with, and back up my post.

This is exactly the point I was making.

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Good luck to them.

Compared to the abuse of the tax system by the oligarchs and city players I really couldn't care less if a few thousand polish kids get to eat a decent meal each week.

If it was such a good deal, what is stop non-working mothers in the UK taking their kids of to Poland to save money whilst their husbands stay here working?

If the husband wasn't working in the UK and paying taxes, it would be a story, but it's a non-story.

If you don't want immigrant labour stop them coming, but if you let them in and they are working give them the same taxes and benefits as averyone else.

Utterly pointless article.

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Guest AuntJess
Thank you for taking the time and effort to agree with, and back up my post.

This is exactly the point I was making.

Your point about pensions being paid into Spanish bank accounts was not equivalent IMO, which was the one I was responding to. I never considered the possibility of foreigners getting a pension. My God the younger generation here have had THAT door slammed in their faces, so I would hope that the sh!t would hit the fan, were that to become a reality.

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Good luck to them.

Compared to the abuse of the tax system by the oligarchs and city players I really couldn't care less if a few thousand polish kids get to eat a decent meal each week.

The father is already earning enough without handouts to provide handsomely for his children back in Poland. Gordon's freebie alone is equivalent to the average salary in Poland. I can't buy the poverty angle at all.

Edited by dinsdale

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The father is already earning enough without handouts to provide handsomely for his children back in Poland.

And? It's not as if the children are somehow less deserving just because they live in Poland. Anyway, if you don't like that then you can always vote for whichever party promises to leave the EU, scrap the child benefit, or do both.

I am very pleased to see East Europeans who work here becoming entitled to benefits. Soon enough they will figure out it does not make sense for anyone with dependent children to have a minimum wage job. After that there should be enough pressure to finally have the whole insane benefits system fixed. The single immigrants will hopefully notice they can qualify for the incapacity benefit which will rise the longer they keep up pretence, just like it does for the natives. So hopefully that will get fixed too. OTOH, it is probably best not to fix the NHS or the education system as otherwise the immigrants would not prefer to let the taxpayer in their native country pay for those services ....

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If you don't want immigrant labour stop them coming, but if you let them in and they are working give them the same taxes and benefits as averyone else.

Utterly pointless article.

It does draw attention to a deeper issue though, which is that there's more to 'cheap' imported labour than meets the eye, if the welfare system of the host country ends up paying additional benefits. Another case of privatising profit and socialising cost, I would suggest.

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For example: My friend and neighbour who worked only 12 years full time in her working life was not entitled to a pension AT ALL, despite working and paying a reduced stamp for about 25 years and a full stamp for 12!! ... Mind you she is born and bred English, so the English-hating GB is happy to leave her out in the cold, along with the rest of the mugs who work to provide the benefits for others. There are probably thousands like her too, as many women worked part time for most of their working life.

She needs to seek advice re: 2007 Pensions Act that Mr Brown brought in.

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As per twatmangle, l dont really make a distinction between Pole or other, although its something of a curio that she is back in Poland, what gets my goat is that anyone gets any benefits at all earning 750 quid a week.

FFS cut down on these pointless child orientated benefits and concentrate on increasing the personal tax free allowance so it makes sense for people to actualy get off their assholes and work.

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In the first part I dont remember the Labour Party asking the public if they wanted millions of migrants from Eastern Europe and further afield to come to England in order that Hard Working British Families wages are kept low, to the point of poverty.

Lets face it, the Cats out of the bag, the Labour Party have shown they are incapable of actually successfully implementing anything at all.

Whether it be the Health Service, Iraq, Passports, Computer Systems, Peerages, Transport, Petrol Taxes, Stealth Taxes, Sleeze, Cronyism.

Every they touch turns to a pile of cr3p. And now we have the Labour Partys failed economic policy causing a run on the banks.

Interesting that the last time the UK had a run on a bank was back in the 70's, guess who was in power....Yep, it was the Labour Party who bankrupt the nation.

Giving our taxpayers money away to people who live overseas is a National Disgrace!!!!!.

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http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/7007163.stm

Some Poles 'claim benefit twice'

Some Polish workers in Britain are illegally claiming child benefit in both the UK and their home country, a BBC investigation has found.

Officials in a number of Polish regions told 5live Report that up to half the applications they see are fraudulent.

They added checks on claims were under strain because of the numbers involved.

EU rules allow migrant workers to claim benefit for children who are in a different country, but they cannot do so in two countries at once.

Two years ago in the Gdansk region of Poland, officials were asked to check just two applications for British child benefit. So far this year they have processed more than 1,500 claims.

The BBC collated information from nine of Poland's 16 regions.

Six of those regions also provided estimates of the number of double claimants - in each case saying these represented at least one third and up to one half of total claims.

Benefits system

The UK government estimates that it loses approximately £2bn to benefit fraud ever year - and the Polish child benefit claims would be just a small part of that total.

Eastern European migrant workers have limited access on arrival to the welfare state, other than to Child Benefit which is a universal payment

Of the 600,000 workers who had registered in the UK over the last two years, some 16,868 had applied for some form of income support but the vast majority were turned down.

Seven out of 10 Eastern European workers who have registered in the UK since 2004 are Polish.

Proportionally fewer Poles have applied for income-related benefits than other Eastern European arrivals

But former welfare minister Frank Field said it was time for a serious reassessment of migrant workers' access to benefits.

"That's not what the point of having a welfare state in this country was originally about. Nor do I think it is what it should develop into," he said.

'System buckling'

Agnieszka Zablocka, who checks the validity of applications for child benefit made in the UK by workers from the Gdansk region in northern Poland, says that many of the double-claimers think that the British authorities will never discover their real situation.

"It usually takes place in small towns. People think, 'How will the UK ever know. How would they ever find out?'," she says.

She says there are so many fraudulent double-claim cases because the system which processes the applications is buckling under the sheer weight of numbers.

Ms Zablocka's department in Gdansk had just one employee in 2004 but now has nine, and she says they are still struggling to cope.

Because of the flood of applications by Poles for child benefit in the UK, she says that it can take up to two years to check their validity.

She also blames Britain's "pay now, check later" policy for contributing both to the scale of the fraud and the time it has taken for it to be detected.

HM Revenue and Customs, which is in charge of recovering the money, said in a statement: "HMRC takes all allegations of fraud extremely seriously and is looking carefully at the controls in place to ensure all claims are legitimate.

"The UK is working very closely with all its European partners, including Poland, to meet our obligations under EU rules and prevent fraud. We have robust procedures in place."

Ahh, those hardworking poles, helping our economy.... up to half of applications fraudulent ;)

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As per twatmangle, l dont really make a distinction between Pole or other, although its something of a curio that she is back in Poland, what gets my goat is that anyone gets any benefits at all earning 750 quid a week.

FFS cut down on these pointless child orientated benefits and concentrate on increasing the personal tax free allowance so it makes sense for people to actualy get off their assholes and work.

Couldn't agree more.It surprised me to learn that a couple with a child under 12 months old can earn up to £66,000 pa and still claim a (small) amount of tax credits.That's not helping low-income families.That's an election bribe paid for by workers,mostly earning considerably less than £66K a year.

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Interesting that the last time the UK had a run on a bank was back in the 70's, guess who was in power....Yep, it was the Labour Party who bankrupt the nation.

Talking crap again. The last banking crisis was in 1973 when the Tories were in power. Tit.

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"New Labour are a bunch of Jokers!!!!!!!!! Gordon Brown should now leave for Scotland and never return.

£1m of child benefit paid out a month - to mothers in Poland"

I can't get my head round why some of you jokers are actually backing these policies up, staggering.

What's more I believe the government need forcibly removing from their positions. F##king outrageous.

Revolution is needed at the highest order. Military intervention type coup would be justified here, Fiji actioned

one for a lot less.

:angry:

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