New income thresholds

detrimental to migrants and British public services

GMT 18:43 Monday ,25 January 2016

 Migrant Voice - detrimental to migrants and British public services

MV

Migrant Voice is concerned that immigration rules coming into effect this April could starve Britain of vital talent in sectors facing skills-shortages, including the public sector. Non-EU migrants who have lived in the UK for five years but earn less than £35,000 will be denied settlement and face deportation.

The Government’s continued focus on reducing net migration figures and increasingly restrictive immigration rules are underestimating the vital role & value of contribution that migrants make to the UK. Migrant Voice believes such policies are unjust and detrimental to both migrants and the quality of British public services.

Yet, the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) has published its recommendations on the Tier 2 Visa route. Its report suggested raising the minimum salary threshold for skilled workers coming to the UK to £30,000.

Migrant Voice believes is important to continue investing in training and education for the domestic workforce, meanwhile skilled migrant workers who are filling labour shortages should be welcomed and treated fairly.

Migrants who have already lived and worked in the UK for five years have developed a wealth of skills and knowledge of their sector and now likely able to provide a better quality of service & higher productivity. It seems counterproductive to lose such investment and experience.

Immigration policies that discriminate based on income fail to recognise the value of contributions that migrants in lower-waged jobs can make. For example healthcare workers may not earn as much as other professions but they are the backbone of society.

For people who have built a life in the UK after five years and are part of the community, forcing them to leave simply because they don’t meet the much higher income threshold is destabilising and only serves to make them feel undervalued.

Concerns that reducing migrant labour will intensify shortages have also already been raised by organisations such as the Royal College of Nurses (RCN) and the National Association of Head Teachers. The RCN estimates that by 2017 more than 3,300 nurses will be affected by the £35,000 salary threshold. 

 
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