‘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,’ Baroness Flather wrote in the Mail last year.
Error: The Department for Work and Pensions’ reforms have inadvertently opened up a loophole for polygamous households
Immigrants with more than one wife will qualify for extra benefits under reforms to Britain’s welfare system, after an attempt to crack down on the problem backfired.
Polygamous marriages, largely confined to Muslim families, are only recognised in Britain if they took place in countries where they are legal.
Currently, any additional wives can receive reduced individual income support, meaning the husband and his first wife are paid up to £111.45.
Subsequent spouses living under the same roof receive around £40. Under the new system of Universal Credit, which comes in next year, polygamous marriages will not be recognised at all.
Ministers pledged to end the ‘absurd’ benefits regime which has seen multiple wives allowed to claim extra welfare payments.
But a House of Commons Library paper has highlighted a loophole in the rules which will allow additional wives to claim a full single person’s allowance, currently worth up to £71, while the original married couple will still get a married couple’s allowance.