They said thousands of Britons had been unable to bring a non-EU spouse to the UK since July 2012, when minimum earnings requirements were introduced. Several people argued that children have been separated from a parent because of this new regulation that states parents will only be able to come to, or remain in the UK for settlement if they can demonstrate that, as a result of age, illness or disability, they require a level of long-term personal care that can only be provided in the UK by their relative here and without recourse to public funds. The Home Office defends it by stating that this was designed to ease the burden of migration on the taxpayer.