Skip to comments.Husbands with multiple wives to get extra benefits after Government go-ahead (Britain)
Posted on 02/03/2008 12:30:38 PM PST by 2ndDivisionVet
Husbands living in a "harem" with multiple wives have been cleared to claim state benefits for all their different partners.
A Muslim man with four spouses - which is permitted under Islamic law - could receive £10,000 a year in income support alone.
He could also be entitled to more generous housing and council tax benefit, to reflect the fact his household needs a bigger property.
Ministers have decided that, even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, polygamous marriages can be recognised formally by the state - provided they took place overseas, in countries where they are legal.
The outcome will chiefly benefit Muslim men with more than one wife.
Ministers estimate that up to a thousand polygamous partnerships exist in Britain, although they admit there is no exact record.
Potentially, the benefits bill for income support could reach £10m.
New guidelines on income support from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) state: "Where there is a valid polygamous marriage the claimant and one spouse will be paid the couple rate (£92.80).
"The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently £33.65."
Income support for all of the wives may be paid directly into the husband's bank account, if the family so choose.
Chris Grayling, the shadow work and pensions secretary, said that the decision was "completely unjustifiable".
He added: "You are not allowed to have multiple marriages in the UK, so to have a situation where the benefits system is treating people in different ways is totally unacceptable and will serve to undermine confidence in the system.
"This sets a precedent that will lead to more demands for the culture of other countries to be reflected in UK law and the benefits system."
Mr Grayling also accused the Government of trying to keep the ruling quiet because the topic is so controversial.
Corin Taylor, research director for the Taxpayers' Alliance, said: "British taxpayers are paying a record amount of tax so the Government has a duty to make sure that every penny is spent properly.
"Polygamy is not something which British law allows and therefore British taxpayers should not have to pay for extra benefits for second or third wives.
"If other countries sanction polygamy that is fine but the British taxpayer should not have to fund it."
Ministers launched a review of the benefit rules for polygamous marriages in November 2006, after it emerged that some families had benefited financially.
The review concluded in December last year with agreement that the extra benefits should continue to be paid. But the decision was not publicly announced.
Four departments - the Treasury, the DWP, HM Revenue and Customs, and the Home Office - were involved in the review, which concluded that recognising multiple marriages conducted overseas was 'the best possible' option. In Britain, bigamy is punishable by up to seven years in prison.
Islamic law permits men to have up to four wives at any one time - known as a harem - provided the husband spends equal amounts of time and money on each of them.
The DWP believes the number of people in polygamous marriages entering Britain has fallen since the 1988 Immigration Act, which makes it harder to bring more than one wife to the UK.
But, while a married man cannot obtain a spouse visa to bring a second wife into Britain, some multiple partners may be able to enter the country via other legal routes such as tourist visas, student visas or work permits.
Officials have also identified a potential loophole by which a man can divorce his wife under British law while continuing to live with her as his spouse under Islamic law, and obtain a spouse visa for a foreign woman who he can legally marry.
Immigration rules say entry clearance may not be withheld from a second wife where the husband has divorced his previous wife, and the divorce is thought to be one of convenience.
This is so, even if the husband is still living with the previous wife and to issue the entry clearance would lead to the formation of a polygamous household.
Muslim couples are only married in the eyes of the British state if they undergo a register office wedding as well as a Nikah, or religious ceremony.
Muslim groups say it is quite common for men here to undergo more than one Nikah with different wives. This does not count as bigamy since only the first marriage is legally recognised.
A DWP spokesman said: 'There are fewer than 1,000 polygamous marriages in the UK and only a small percentage of these are claiming social security benefit.
"We recently reviewed the rules regarding benefit payments to customers in a polygamous marriage, which conclude that the rules in place since 1987 provide the necessary safeguards to ensure there is no financial advantage for claimants in a valid polygamous marriage."
A once great nation continues to crumble.
What’s Barack Hussein Obama have to say about this?
How can the government tell you thatyou can’t have multiple wives when it tells you how much extra money it will give you for each one?
Is it not bizarre that socialist Europe, which has such disdain for the “backward” Christian faith, is now bending over backwards to accomodate medieval Islam?
Well that’s not equal rights, is it? Why shouldn’t everyone be allowed several spouses concurrently? No extra privileges for Muslims!
After all, in a couple of generations marriage will be regarded as wrongful favoritism anyway.
The new slogan will be.....
The Moon Never Sets On The British Empire
Sounds like mormons ought to love Brittan.
God what are the Brits doing. It’s insane over there. It’s like there’s moral anarchy and (moral relativism) being institutionalized there. IT’s one thing for individuals to feel this way, it’s another to havethe government leading the way and draggin eveyone else along with them.
Protest and they’ve got your face on a dozen cameras. If you don’t get the fine letter in the mail the police’ll come by and fingerprint and put you in the DNA database. Wave ‘hello’ to Orwell along the way to Room 101....
“All Roads lead to Mecca.”
Stick a fork in ‘em. They’re done.
It has something to do with the fact that if Muslims get ticked off they bomb something.
I want to know when we can get a tax deduction for the grand-dog we inherited when our daughter got married and moved out of state. We’re about to get another dog from our son, so we could use the help buying dog food. ;-)
Is Britian just going absolutely nuts? Are they on a suicide march to oblivion?
What the hell is wrong with them?
Why are so many people and cultures all over the world caving in to Islamofascism? WTF is going on?
It’s the same thing that happened to France in 1940: nothing to believe in anymore. There’s no religion, no God, no government worth fighting for, better to just let those from the outside who want to get inside, run it.
Stupidity doesn’t even begin to describe the Brits these days.
That's right...multiple mothers-in-law.
They are financing the lunatics who have barged into their homes to destroy them.....
Clearly and insane behavior...
Uh......I believe the same can be said for France, Germany, Spain and the United States....
We’re all subsidizing invaders from Turd World “cultures”....