Immigrants with many wives stand to make substantial financial gains under looming changes to Britain’s welfare system.
Polygamous marriages, which form a common thread in Islam, are recognised in Britain but only if they take place in countries where they are legal. Now a House of Commons library paper, published earlier this month, has highlighted a loophole that will allow additional wives coming to the UK to claim a full single person’s allowance while the husband and his first wife still receive their respective benefits.
At present additional wives receive reduced individual income support, meaning the husband and his first wife receive up to £114.85. Subsequent spouses living under the same roof receive a reduced allowance of about £40 each.
The foreshadowed changes mean some polygamous households may receive more under universal credit than under the present benefit and tax credit system. The paper said:
“The Government decided that the universal credit rules will not recognise additional partners in polygamous relationships,” the paper states.
“This could potentially result in some polygamous households receiving more under universal credit than under the current benefit and tax credit system.
“Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as separate claimants could in some situations mean polygamous households receive more under universal credit than they do under the current rules for means-tested benefits and tax credits.
“This is because the amounts which may be paid in respect of additional spouses are lower than those which generally apply to single claimants.”
The news comes as universal credit (UC), introduced in April 2014, is applied to more Jobcentre areas, including Kent and Leicestershire, from tomorrow. More, including Cambridge and Hull, are set to introduce it before April this year.
UC is to replace all means-tested benefits and tax credits for families of working age and is gradually being introduced to new claimant groups and areas including those in polygamous unions.
This is not the first time that Islamic marriage traditions have been highlighted in the UK.
As Breitbart Londonreported, last year Britain’s first female sharia law judge stated that the “government cannot ask Muslims not to have more than one wife”.
That revelation came on the back of a report by the Times newspaper which claimed that Britain is experiencing a “surge” in Sharia marriages, as young British Muslims adopt a more hardline religious stance than their parents.
According to The Times:
“As many as 100,000 couples are living in such [sharia] marriages, which are not valid under UK law, experts said. Ministers have raised fears that women can be left without the right to a fair share of assets if the relationship ends, while others are forced to return to abusive “husbands”…