According to the figures, a total of 40,171 children living outside the UK were living in families receiving child benefit at the end of December. In addition, 6,838 families with children were receiving tax credit payments.
The benefits are claimed by relatives of the children living in the UK.
“I am very surprised at this figure. Most people would consider it wrong for people to receive child benefit when the children are living abroad permanently.”
“The main purpose of child benefit and the child tax credit is to support families in the UK.”
He added that the government was obliged to make the payments under EU regulations which protect the “social security rights of nationals of all member states of the European economic area.”