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Immigration: EU Enlargement

Volume 459: debated on Thursday 3 May 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for the Home Department (1) whether he plans to provide specific information for Scottish local authorities to clarify their duties for homeless EU2 migrants; (127307)

(2) whether he plans to make available to local authorities in (a) England, (b) Scotland, (c) Wales and (d) Northern Ireland information regarding their duties towards EU2 migrants;

(3) what steps are being taken to clarify to local authorities the entitlement of EU2 migrants for local authority services, including housing and social services and homelessness assistance, across the UK.

Local authorities’ responsibilities towards Bulgarian and Romanian nationals are similar to those for other EEA nationals, except with regard to employment, where restrictions have been maintained. Guidance on the rights and responsibilities with respect to work and employment is available on the IND website:

http://www.ind.homeoffice.gov.uk.

The Scottish Executive has issued a statutory code of guidance to local authorities on EU nationals’ eligibility for homelessness assistance in Scotland. This guidance can be accessed via the Scotland Executive website:

http://www.scotland.gov.uk/publications/2005.

The Home Office has not received any requests from local authorities with respect to the employment of Bulgarian and Romanian nationals. Guidance on eligibility for homelessness assistance is available from the Department for Communities and Local Government (which applies to England) and the Scottish Executive. Guidance on entitlement to benefits is available from the Department for Work and Pensions.

The Department for Communities and Local Government is working with the Improvement and Development Agency to share good practice on migration from the EU. A national event was held for local authorities in England on 21 March and a good practice toolkit will be issued in May 2007.