For immediate release:
MSP WARNS TORY IMMIGRATION PLANS WILL HARM BUSINESSES & PUBLIC SERVICES IN RUTHERGLEN
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has said the UK government’s proposals on immigration, published last week (December 19), will damage Scotland’s economy, communities, NHS and public services.
Among a number of plans unveiled in a white paper, the UK Government are consulting on introducing a £30,000-a-year minimum salary threshold for skilled EU national migrants, promising to cut net migration to the UK to ‘tens of thousands’.
The proposals could result in an 85% reduction in the number of EEA workers to Scotland – with Scottish Government modelling suggesting a fall of almost £6.8 billion a year in GDP by 2040 as a result of the Tories plans.
If the White Paper becomes law, then low-skilled workers would be able to move between employers without sponsorship, but they would have no access to public funds, be prohibited from switching to another visa or reuniting with family, and would have no route to permanent settlement.
It is anticipated that the NHS and care sectors will be among the worst hit by the proposals, with the tourism and hospitality industries also suffering.
The Federation of Small Businesses (FSB) in Scotland has also demanded an urgent rethink of the plans. Andrew McRae the FSB’s Scotland Policy Chair commented, “these proposals will make it nigh impossible for the vast majority of Scottish firms to access any non-UK labour and the skills they need to grow and sustain their operations.”
Rutherglen MSP Clare Haughey has called on the UK Government to fully devolve immigration powers so that the Scottish Government can bring forward ‘a progressive approach that addresses Scotland’s specific demographic and economic needs’.
Commenting, MSP Clare Haughey said:
“Our NHS and care sector here in Rutherglen and Cambuslang is in real danger. These UK Government proposals could cause catastrophic damage for our public services, and it is absolutely vital that we continue to attract people to live and work here.
“UK Government plans on immigration will also devastate local businesses. Should the £30,000 salary threshold on EU migrants be introduced, it would slash the workforce available to Scottish firms.
“The Scottish Government has repeatedly made the case for a tailored and progressive approach that addresses Scotland’s specific demographic and economic needs.
“If the UK Government are intent on implementing their damaging post-Brexit immigration plans, then the Scottish Parliament must be handed control of migration powers to protect Scotland’s specific interests.”
Further information can be read here: https://www.theguardian.com/politics/2018/dec/17/business-leaders-warn-against-plan-slash-eu-immigration-uk-sajid-javid
Scottish Government cited stats can be found here: https://www.heraldscotland.com/news/17309647.nicola-sturgeon-brands-uk-government-immigration-plans-act-of-vandalism-on-scottish-economy/
Date published: 20th December 2018