Having made a rod for its own back by banging the drum for controlling Net Migration the new Home Secretary has lost no time in beating out a five point plan of disaster for the British economy and for societal cohesion. Today's announcement (4.12.23) of SSHD to the House of Commons is here:
Strike 1 - Skilled workers, a category much needed in the UK to contribute to economic growth will from Spring 2024 need to be paid a minimum of £38700 per annum; this is an enormous jump from the current £26200 per annum. This dramatic increase means that those companies which developed business expansion plans in reliance upon overseas talent and who were encouraged to apply for sponsor licences will now find that after the Spring they cannot afford to bring in workers from overseas to meet their skills gaps. This will mean that many SMEs (the life blood of the economy) will be hard hit.
Strike 2 - Love for a foreign national will now be only for the rich. To sponsor their French wife or their Indian husband, a British or settled person will have to earn a whopping £38700 per annum ( a jump of about £20000 from £18600pa). This will have huge impact for so many who will be excluded from having their partners join them in the UK. At a time of serious financial hardship, when many employers would struggle to pay this kind of salary to settled or British workers, families will be kept apart.
Strike 3 - Ending the ability of care workers to be accompanied by their dependents will not only harm the many care companies struggling to meet the demand, to attend to the needs of the country's ageing population. Culturally, British pensioners do not turn to their offspring to look after them in their old age and tend to lead lonely lives struggling by themselves. Splitting up the families of those who might have cared for our elderly, will deter many from coming here to do the jobs that Brits have historically shunned, further exacerbating the shortages.
Strike 4 - The Government had already prevented masters students from being joined by their partners thereby discouraging the best and brightest coming to British universities and bringing with them the hefty foreign student fees which British universities urgently need. The latest attack is on the Graduate visa, which is a gateway visa to other visas, such as skilled worker. The Graduate visa had encouraged foreign students to come to the UK remedying the loss of the predecessor visas that enabled students to remain after their studies. This will lead to foreign students taking up studies in other countries such as Canada, Australia and USA instead and the UK will lose billions that foreign students could have brought to the country.
Strike 5 - In a final act of self-destruction the Shortage Occupation List is to be shortened and the salary discounts which enabled employers to meet shortage roles will be scrapped. This will cause tremendous difficulties for employers. A new immigration salary list will be set up and one wonders what level of discrimination this will entail. It takes many years to train people and many British people do not take up many jobs on the SOL.
In the name of preventing abuse, the Govt is seeking to compensate for its own miscalculations, having made generous offers for thousands of BN(O)s [Hong Kong], Ukrainian nationals under the Ukraine schemes and as a knock on effect of Brexit. The nationals of 27 EU countries are now counted into the country since Brexit, whereas during the era of free movement, they will not have appeared in Net migration figures. Students also feature in these figures whereas the vast majority of students return home and are temporary migrants.
Is the Govt so blinded by the needs of the election that they are content to turn a deaf ear to the pleas of British employers and needs of the British economy?