As Romanian and Bulgarian residents will be eligible to receive certain UK benefits in January, job agencies are said to be inundated with requests from foreigners about how to claim what they are entitled to.
Recruitment firms are being inundated with requests from Romanians about how they can claim benefits in Britain.
From January, residents of Romania and Bulgaria – two of Europe’s poorest countries – will be entitled to travel to the UK.
They will be able to claim the same benefits and NHS care as other EU citizens.
As a result, job agencies say they are being bombarded with requests from many who want to know how they can make claims.
One consultancy, based in Birmingham, said it had turned away dozens who wanted to know which of the UK’s generous state hand-outs they were eligible for.
Adrian Pop, the firm’s managing director, said: ‘People are calling me asking “how do I claim benefits?”.’
Mr Pop, who is Romanian-born, warned many would be attracted to Britain by the benefits alone.
He said some agencies were offering to help Romanians claim benefits in return for a slice of the money.
‘Some Roma families will come to the UK with seven or eight children and claim £3,000 a month,’ he said. ‘But this is the system that Britain has created.’
He added many would claim to be self employed so they can get a National Insurance number, before simply claiming benefits.
‘There are forums where people talk about it. There are also adverts for companies which help them claim benefits,’ he said. ‘It is giving all Romanians a bad name in England.’
Other companies have set up lucrative hotlines offering migrants information on how they can claim benefits. The Mail found several such ‘immigration specialists’ openly advertising their services.
One Middlesex firm is currently advertising on a host of Romanian websites under the banner ‘find out if you are entitled to claim benefits in the UK – call now’.
Eurolutions boasts it has a 100 per cent success rate for helping clients obtain child benefit.
And a London-based company is claiming to offer ‘assistance for getting benefits in the UK (maternity allowance, child benefit, child tax credit, working tax credit, housing benefit & council, Sure Start maternity grant etc)’.
MPs said that until Britain left the EU there was no way of stopping large numbers from Romania and Bulgaria coming to the UK in January.
Douglas Carswell, Tory MP for Clacton, said: ‘It’s happening – everything the experts said wouldn’t happen is happening, and everything the Mail and others said would happen is coming to pass.
'Until we leave the EU, there is nothing we can do about it.’
At a UK jobs fair in Bucharest on Saturday, hosted by Mr Pop and recruitment firm US Travel, dozens had travelled for up to four hours to hear about vacancies for housekeepers, waiters and bartenders.
But others were more interested in the benefits on offer in Britain.
Dorin Zamfirescu told the Mail: ‘The benefits are much more in England than here.
‘People in England get benefits, so what is the difference if I do?
‘Just because I wasn’t born in England, what does that mean? That’s prejudiced.’
A study by the European Commission last month revealed the number of EU migrants without a job living in Britain had risen to more than 600,000, the equivalent of a city the size of Glasgow.
There were also calls by the Mayor of London Boris Johnson for the Government to push for a change in EU laws to delay migrants’ access to benefits.
Paul Nuttall MEP, deputy leader of UKIP, said: ‘The Government’s Euro chickens are coming home to roost.
‘UKIP have warned that this would be the result until we were hoarse, but the legacy parties have refused to listen.
'Now the taxpayer will suffer and our welfare system will be looted. What is tragic is that this is avoidable.’