David Cameron in tough talks with Polish PM over benefits

Kate McCann
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PRIME Minister David Cameron has urged his Polish counterpart to agree to bilateral talks over the payment of child benefit to families living overseas. The move comes just days after the PM highlighted welfare spending as a key 2015 election battleground for his party.

Cameron called Donald Tusk yesterday afternoon to discuss a number of issues, including the controversial topic of benefits for EU migrants, on which he has taken a strong stance in recent weeks.

“The Prime Minister made clear his longstanding view, reiterated in recent days, that the lack of transitional controls for new EU member states in 2004 was the wrong approach and had put pressure on local communities; and that we need to address the impact on countries’ benefits systems,” a spokesperson said. Cameron persuaded the Polish PM to discuss the matter further in recent weeks, in the hope of winning agreement across Europe on welfare spending.

Tusk called the conversation an “open and frank exchange of views” but made clear his concern about the stigmatization of Polish citizens, adding that Poland would not accept such treatment.