Migrants claiming benefits in Germany increase astronomically

Angela Merkel

Angela Merkel

German Federal Statistics Office said on Monday that the number of migrants claiming German welfare benefits soared by 169 per cent last year.

It said in Berlin that more than 975,000 migrants were receiving benefits in accordance with the Act on Benefits for Asylum Seekers at the end of 2015.

The office said that it marked the sixth consecutive yearly rise and compared with 363,000 in 2014.

It acknowledged that the data include migrants with temporary residence permits and those who cannot be deported for the time being.

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“They do not include those with refugee status or those entitled to asylums, who receive social benefits if they need help.
The data showed that State spending on benefits for migrants increased by 120 per cent in 2015 to almost 5.3 billion euros.

It noted that of the migrants who received aid, 91 per cent got basic benefits such as food, accommodation, clothing and health as well as durable and non-durable household items.

Critics noted that the leap followed Chancellor Angela Merkel’s decision a year ago to open Germany’s door to refugees fleeing war in Syria and elsewhere.

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They noted that Germany took in more than one million people, though the inflow has fallen sharply in recent months due to tighter European border controls and a repatriation deal with Turkey.

Critics said that while many Germans gave migrants a warm welcome when they started arriving in droves last summer, that has partly given way to fear after three recent violent attacks on civilians carried out by migrants and to concerns about integration.

They said that the scale of state aid for migrants has angered many Germans, particularly in the poorer eastern regions.
Meanwhile, Angela Merkel, German Chancellor, stressed that government had not slashed benefits for anyone in order to provide for refugees.

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She explained that almost two-thirds of the benefit recipients came from Asia, with half of this group coming from Syria, as shown by the data.

Merkel said that another 22 per cent hailed from European countries such as Albania, Serbia, Montenegro and Macedonia, which are all outside the European Union, while 13 per cent came from Africa.

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