The Workers Union is asking the Prime Minister to abandon plans for a £30,000 minimum salary threshold for migrant workers.
The plan was originally conceived by Boris Johnson’s predecessor in the top job, Teresa May. Under her deal, people wishing to live and work in the UK would need to secure employment paying at least 30k before making their application.
The Prime Minister is known to favour a points-based Australian style system to replace the salary threshold, but no final decisions have been made on future arrangements.
Workers Union General Secretary Colin Mahoney cast doubt on whether the salary threshold would enable the government to meet its immigration targets, increase employers’ opportunities to recruit from abroad or deliver a fair system: “This figure of 30k seems to be rather arbitrary and based on a vague idea that this is minimum salary that a skilled worker can expect to earn. Well, many of our members have skilled occupations and earn considerably less than that, so this seems more of a finger in the air exercise than anything else. Much better that as a society we have an open debate about this issue and the government talks to organisations like ours about skills recruitment for business. We have an obligation to create a fair system that promotes the idea that the UK is an open and outward-facing country that offers migrant workers and business a good deal. But we also have an obligation towards the people who are already here. These are the hard-pressed workers who kept the country going throughout the depths of the Brexit-mire and they deserve to be treated with respect. We need a system that addresses that delicate balance and neither makes it impossible to get in without a government fast-track nor opens the door to an influx of workers who may end up depressing the wages of Britain’s working people.”
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