Outrageous & Unbelievable - Polygamous immigrant families to Britain to be paid more benefits after Government blunder
Immigrants with more than one wife because of their religion are to get higher benefits in future after Government attempts to reform the welfare system spectacularly backfired.
Under new rules, the extra wives in a polygamous household will for the first time be able to claim a full single person's allowance, while the original married couple will still get a married person's allowance, official papers have warned.
Currently people in Britain's polygamous families are treated differently and paid less benefits.
The extra wives currently receive reduced individual income support because the Government recognises their husband will also get the standard married allowance with his original wife.
But as part of the Coalition's wide-ranging benefit reforms this nuance has inadvertently been scrapped, opening up a loophole for Britain's thousand-plus polygamous households.
These details were revealed in a paper published in the House of Commons library.
'Treating second and subsequent partners in polygamous relationships as separate claimants could mean that polygamous households receive more under universal credit than under the current rules for means-tested benefits and tax credits,' the document says.
The first Asian woman to receive a peerage, Baroness Flather, has spoken out widely on the issue of polygamous families claiming benefits.
Error: The Department for Work and Pensions' reforms have inadvertently opened up a loophole for polygamous households
There are around 1,000 polygamous homes in Britain, the majority of which are Muslim
'Under Islamic Sharia law, polygamy is permissible. So a man can return to Pakistan, take another bride and then, in a repetition of the process, bring her to England where they also have children together — obtaining yet more money from the state,' she wrote in the Mail last year.
'Because such Islamic multiple-marriages are not recognised in Britain, the women are regarded by the welfare system as single mothers — and are therefore entitled to the full range of lone-parent payments. We cannot continue like this.
'Why are they allowed to have more than one wife,' she added.
'We should prosecute one or two people for bigamy, that would sort it out.'
Currently in the UK it is illegal to marry more than once.
But if the multiple marriages took place abroad then it is not.
A spokesman for the Department for Work and Pensions told MailOnline said that the loophole will exist because extra wives in a polygamous home are treated as single.
'Polygamy is illegal in this country and it would be wrong for the benefits system to legitimise these arrangements by recognising them in any way,' they said.
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