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News : National Insurance Hotline is ‘Swamped' with Migrant Workers Calls
Jan 6, 2014 -- Migrants have been 'swamping' the national insurance lines.
Britons contacting the Government service were turned away as staff were "inundated" with Bulgarians and Romanians.
The UK jobs market was flung open to millions of workers from the two countries on January 1.
National insurance numbers are needed by anyone trying to get a job in the UK or to gain access to benefits.
Yesterday, a company director recently arrived in Britain from the tax haven of Jersey said her appointment to pick up a NI number had to be delayed because staff were swamped.
Finance company boss Tina Jehan, 51, said: "They seemed overwhelmed. The lady on the phone to me said they had 78 calls backed up. She said they were inundated with Romanians and Bulgarians."
A worker at a Department for Work and Pensions call centre, who did not want to be named, said: "We’re getting between 3,000 and 9,000 calls per day. Most of the last year calls were coming from Spanish people but in the past three months it’s been Bulgarians and Romanians."
Last night a DWP spokesman said: "There is absolutely no evidence to say that the call centre has been inundated with calls from Romanians and Bulgarians. There is no evidence to say that the lines have been jammed."
Posted by Veronica Silva Cusi, news correspondent
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About National Insurance:
National Insurance (NI) in the United Kingdom is a system of contributions paid by workers and employers towards the cost of certain state benefits. It was initially a contributory system of insurance against illness and unemployment, and later also provided retirement pensions and other benefits. It was first introduced by the National Insurance Act 1911, expanded by the Labour government in 1948 and has been subject to numerous amendments in subsequent years.
Published: Wednesday, January 8, 2014