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Housing (Illegal Immigrants)

Volume 569: debated on Monday 28 October 2013

The Immigration Bill will require private landlords to make some simple, straightforward checks so that illegal migrants do not have access to private housing. Existing legislation already makes it clear that illegal migrants do not have access to social housing.

Farmers in my constituency offer temporary housing to the seasonal agricultural workers who pick the delicious crops we grow in West Worcestershire. Will it be the farmers or the gangmasters who are required to verify their immigration status?

If employers make available tied accommodation —meaning it is tied to their employment—they will not have to make further checks, because, as employers, they already have to check someone’s right to work in the United Kingdom, and we do not want to overburden them with bureaucracy.

I congratulate and thank the Home Secretary for the excellent measures in last week’s Immigration Bill, which is strongly welcomed by my constituents. Have Ministers seen the recent report stating that the NHS is currently losing £2 billion a year on health care to non-UK residents who should not be here? May I encourage the Home Office, with other Departments, to do everything possible to continue the good work to clamp down on illegal citizens taking public services from our citizens?

We will be doing the first stage of that in the Immigration Bill by ensuring that people who come here as temporary migrants make a fair contribution to the NHS before they can have access to it. The Secretary of State for Health will also introduce separate measures to ensure that hospitals become more effective at charging people who have no right to free access to health care paid for by our taxpayers.