Husbands with multiple wives have been given the go-ahead to claim extra welfare benefits following a year-long Government review, The Sunday Telegraph can reveal.
Even though bigamy is a crime in Britain, the decision by ministers means that polygamous marriages can now be recognised formally by the state, so long as the weddings took place in countries where the arrangement is legal.
The outcome will chiefly benefit Muslim men with more than one wife, as is permitted under Islamic law. Ministers estimate that up to a thousand polygamous partnerships exist in Britain, although they admit there is no exact record.
The decision has been condemned by the Tories, who accused the Government of offering preferential treatment to a particular group, and of setting a precedent that would lead to demands for further changes in British law.
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 … The amount payable for each additional spouse is presently Â£33.65.”
Income support for all of the wives may be paid directly into the husband’s bank account, if the family so choose. Under the deal agreed by ministers, a husband with multiple wives may also be eligible for additional housing benefit and council tax benefit to reflect the larger property needed for his family.
The ruling could cost taxpayers millions of pounds. 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, the Government admitted. The decision was not publicly announced.
Who can stop the Muhammadan tsunami now?
Sunny Hundal sez we need more hate preachers:
Hundal, a ‘human being’ of the Muhammedan faith, (non-muslims are not considered humans) explains the need for consistency: Daniel Pipes, a scholar on Islam and a Jew (Jews are ‘the vilest of creatures’ in the Koran) is in his (Hundal’s)Â view also a hate preacher, we need ‘balance’ you see, and therefore Pipes should be banned as well. Sunny Hundal makes his point, the Muhammedan view is presented to us, shoved down our throats, to create ‘balance’- just like a ‘Palistaninan state’ is to be created to balance the Zionist entity that is so offensive to Muhammedans like the Danish cartoons. Read it and weep!
Catholic worker sacked by hospital after he asks for ‘multi-faith’ prayer room crucifix to be made visible
A hospital porter has been sacked after a row over a crucifix being covered up in a prayer room used by Muslims.
Joseph Protano, 54, was suspended four days after the incident last month at a children’s hospital – and has since been dismissed.
The row centres on a prayer room available to staff and visitors of all faiths, which contains a statue of the Virgin Mary and a crucifix.
Mr Protano, a Roman Catholic who has worked two years at the Royal
Manchester Children’s Hospital, Pendlebury, entered the room when three Muslims were using it – two patients and a doctor.
An argument broke out after he asked them to remove a cloth covering the crucifix and statue and to turn a picture of the Virgin Mary face up.
He has now been dismissed for gross misconduct but he intends to appeal.
* Who are the brain police?
Police quizzed him for four hours last month, on suspicion of religiously aggravated assault, but he was released without charge.