Perhaps someone more familar with present day Britain can help me out on this question.
Listening to Radio 4, I hear that some people in Britain are concerned that EU immigrants from Eastern Europe will put a new load on local authorities in the UK (Slough was mentioned) and cause a rise in council tax as a result of these new immigrants claiming benefits.
Let me tell you my situation. I am a British Citizen. I was born and raised in the United Kingdom. I worked in the United Kingdom and paid tax and National Insurance from the age of 16 to the age of 41 (a total of 25 years).
I moved to the United States in about 1988 and worked here, paying taxes and social security until 1998 when I became disabled as a result of a brain haemorrhage. Without question, the US government paid me a disability pension of about 1050 dollars a month (about 600 British pounds) although they tax away about half of this amount.
When I was in England a few years ago I visited my local national insurance office and explained my situation. Although my national insurance account is still intact somewhere in the suburbs of Newcastle, I am not entitled to any benefits from the UK until my retirement age, which is age 65 at the moment but who knows how that will change?
So, as I understand it, people can come into the country from Eastern Europe, not speaking a word of English, and immediately get benefits.
What am I missing here?