Article three of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights states that everybody has a right to life, liberty and personal security. Migrants from all over Europe, Africa and Asia have put, and are putting themselves and their families through hell in order to grasp this ideal. As basic as this right should be for everybody, regardless of race, creed, or religion they clearly do not find it in their own countries otherwise, why would they go through all that trouble? People in these areas suffer from poverty, corruption, persecution, (genocide in some) or generally want a better life for themselves.
The Italians, Spaniards, Irishmen and other migrants to America got their “American dream” in the 1930s and ’40s. They lived relatively normal lives building their communities in pursuit of their dream of a better life. After all, people from all over had already been living in America since the 1800s. What are these modern migrants doing that are any different?
The Windrush generation came to this country to work on our railways, in our hospitals, drive our busses and more. They built lives here, married, had children – whole communities were built here by their generation. They wanted their part in the dream of a better life for themselves and their children and by the very definition of the act in the declaration, they absolutely have the right. Even if they are not being persecuted in their own country or their personal security is not at risk, they have a right to try and better their lives. Maybe there are no appropriate opportunities where they come from, maybe there is abject poverty, or they just want a better education for themselves and their children.
Those who do come here to train as nurses and doctors and other medical professionals not only better themselves and the living standards of any possible children they may have or will have, they improve the country and society.
It can be argued that although the number of nurses registered have remained about the same there is still not enough to cover the amount of people needing medical care. Stats have shown that in the past 10 years 17,000 hospital beds have been cut.
Myriam Cadinouche came to the UK to study for her PHD and was instead, wrongly accused of being in the country illegally. Her passport was seized along with her documents. This caused her health to decline meaning she did not have the means to carry on with her studies after the error was rectified. It seems that without just cause, vulnerable members of society are targeted and suffer ordeals which in some cases could lead to deportation.
These are the ones who come over here with a dream. What about the ones who come out of pure desperation, the ones who will suffer if they remain in their own country? These are the people most at risk. They would rather risk life and limb, cross cold choppy seas in rubber dinghies than suffer the consequences of being in their country of origin.
They would rather be trafficked in a shipping container and made to work long hours for less than this countries living wage. Think about that for a second. Think about a person in this country maybe yourself or someone you know who is on minimum wage. Now imagine getting half or less than half of that. Would you give everything up or risk everything to make a better life for yourself? This creates a situation where predatory gangs exploit these people’s desperation and make a profit from people’s lives. Recently, 39 Vietnamese people were found dead in a shipping container having just entered a port in Essex. The driver was found guilty of manslaughter, human trafficking and immigration offences. Justice was served for the poor victims families with his conviction however will this affect the gangs on the other end of the trafficking? They will surely keep sending people no matter how many lose their lives trying.
Employment isn’t easy for neurodiverse people for a number of reasons in general, the more so depending on the type of condition they have. Neurodiverse people can struggle with audio, for example loud noise, or discourse and being able to tell someone’s social cues and body language. Personally, I find it a miracle when I have a day where I can stand up without falling over myself or tripping over inanimate objects. Thankfully, since I’ve been in employment there has been a lot of conversation about aspects of neurodiversity such as Autism, Asperger’s Syndrome and Dyspraxia
All of these fall under Autistic Spectrum Disorder (or ASD) this can mean one person can show symptoms from different disorders. For example, I myself have difficulty with eye contact and recognising facial expressions, tone and inflection of speech. These can be attributed to somebody with Aspergers syndrome, however I also do not like change in plans or routine or loud sudden noise which can be associated with Autism. These are the least of my worries! All of these difficulties can also be encompassed in a diagnosis of Dyspraxia.
As a child Dyspraxia for me meant my handwriting wasn’t as neat as it should have been, I was falling over constantly and had no idea when to put my hand up in class! As a teenager and young adult, it’s meant my organisational skills are nowhere near where they should be and I still struggle with social interactions. Despite all the talk and awareness going on while I was working from the age of 16 this seems to be lost on employers. I can see it from their point of view it’s a lot of hoops to jump through for one person who might then decide the job isn’t for them. However, let me emphasise the benefits of having a neurodiverse employee. Despite our flaws people with ASD tend to be passionate, creative, and resilient. I will go out on a limb and say that you will not find a person with more drive.
While working I’ve encountered miscommunications, being misunderstood by my employers leading to struggles to explain why these miscommunications happen and eventually having to leave employment due to anxiety this creates. It is a horrible thing to be constantly misunderstood and to be fair some employers tried to be helpful. While working in a call centre my manager saw how anxious and stressed I was getting when not being able to communicate well with clients and not being able to cope with a high pressure environment. He encouraged me to put the client on hold if I needed, ask a colleague or manager to take over and get some fresh air or a glass of water. Unfortunately, the difficulties Dyspraxia created for me were overwhelming and I had to leave that role. As much as they tried to help the best they could, based on the information on Dyspraxia I gave in my disclosure statement I give to every potential employer, there was still a disconnect when it came to upper management even as good as the floor managers were.
So, I was planning on giving up on employment entirely, my morale was lower than it had ever been (even more than when I moved 300 miles away from home) and then something changed. I’d managed to pull myself up enough to start job hunting again. I managed to secure an interview with a law firm, Morgan Wiseman Solicitors. I was surprised because it was on the off chance they’d even look at my CV twice let alone read my disclosure statement and not run a mile. So I received a call saying I’d got the job and I was excited mixed with apprehension from previous experiences but to my surprise I was completely wrong to be apprehensive. Since being at Morgan Wiseman Solicitors I’ve been listened to, understood, I finally feel like a cog in a machine and not a faceless drone. I have been made to feel like I matter, that my ideas and thoughts are valid and that I can ask for help without feeling like a nuisance. Between that and a lot of personal work on coping mechanisms throughout the year I feel like my Dyspraxia is no longer like a devil on my shoulder but just a part of me that I can accept and that Morgan Wiseman Solicitors accept about me. To me they have proved that it’s just a little understanding that goes a long way when it comes to employing a neurodiverse person.
Domestic Abuse is usually something that people find hard to talk about. This didn’t seem to be the case at the Cambridge City Council and Hertfordshire County Council events this week. The rooms at the Guildhall and the Offley Place Hotel respectively were packed to the rafters with professionals from all areas of business, local councils, private and public sector. The most powerful thing and possibly surprising to those who do not work in the domestic abuse sector is among the attendees were indeed men. After all 40% of men are affected by domestic abuse and it can be argued that domestic abuse cannot be completely eradicated without the support of men and women alike.
Lots of buzz in the room as we prepare for the #HertsDA19 conference today! Looking forward to sharing knowledge and expertise and hearing from some great speakers @JoanneBeverley6 @ACR_Trust pic.twitter.com/DQDLYmDQfO
— Hertfordshire County Council (@hertscc) November 27, 2019
Among those men attending the Cambridgeshire City Council event, four of them from different areas of business, were White Ribbon Ambassadors. Again this is hopefully a sign of the times that women will no longer be fighting the fight against domestic abuse alone. Also a surprising feature of the Hertfordshire County Council event is that a portion of the conference was dedicated to domestic abuse in the LGBT+ community. If domestic abuse is an area that not a lot of people talk about, a lot less is spent talking about abuse in LGBT+ relationships and it is encouraging that not only is it being included in the conference, it had its own workshop given by a representative from Galop, which is an LGBT+ anti violence charity.
Attending both conferences is a sure sign that not only is there more conversation about domestic abuse awareness and prevention, but that this conversation is reaching all corners of domestic abuse as a whole. There is more understanding of not only different types of abuse,
whether financial abuse, coercive control, or sexual abuse and who it affects, and how we can tailor support, guidance and legal help to them.
— Morgan Wiseman Solicitors (@MorganWisemanS1) 27 November 2019
Like the sport or not it is undeniable that football brings everybody together. And that’s exactly what happened last Thursday night at The County Grounds in Letchworth Garden City where we visited the Letchworth Garden City Eagles.
As proud and privileged sponsors of the 2019/20 official team kit, we received a warm welcome by Youth Team Coach and volunteer Sanj Phgura, and a group of young boys – the Letchworth Garden City Eagles hosts five-six teams for each year group.
What was most humbling however was that we were not the only proud bunch on the evening. Donning their new jackets with MWS – Morgan Wiseman Solicitors emblazoned across the reverse, it was clear the boys felt good in their smart appearance. They also looked good on the pitch, tearing around as if competing in the Champions League! Who knows maybe the new kits gave them an extra spring in their step?
Spending time with the team we learnt about their humble beginnings, as a parent of one of the youth players and member of the Hertfordshire FA explained. “They are known now as the Letchworth Garden City Eagles, but they used to be called the Jackdaws, this began with one man who was a manager of a local children’s home. With the children bored over the summer holidays, he encouraged them to play football on the green. Soon enough children from the neighbouring estate wanted to play too.” “Now”, the Hertfordshire FA representative enthusiastically said, “there are about 750 boys who play on a weekly basis, and the girl’s teams are also coming up fast.
Morgan Wiseman Solicitors and Café Zandra’s join forces for victims of domestic abuse
Local legal aficionados from the Domestic Abuse Alliance (DA Alliance) at Morgan Wiseman Solicitors (MWS) have banded together with a local coffee shop to provide support for victims of domestic abuse. The scheme allows the victims to come forward in a safe environment to discuss their concerns with a legal professional over a complimentary cup of coffee.
The idea comes through a bid to join and build on the dialogue around domestic abuse and to raise awareness of the plight. The scheme aims to support victims by offering free walk-in consultations in order to identify their best course of action. This also follows on from an article published by Bedfordshire Police highlighting the links between summer holidays and an increase in domestic abuse incidents.
Launching the scheme, Sahiel Shoeb, Head of Operations at MWS said: “Domestic abuse is an unacceptable fact. Beyond providing legal services we are always looking for new ways to encourage victims to come forward and talk. Zandra’s is our local coffee shop and the idea of a free consultation and a cup of coffee in relaxed surroundings, we hope will reassure victims.”
“The idea to use coffee to bring people together is a great way for victims to come forward without fear. I really hope that together we can change people’s lives by helping them to get out of a bad situation”, added John Duncan, owner of Café Zandra’s.
As a member of the Bedfordshire Domestic Abuse Partnership (BDAP) the DA Alliance is committed to supporting the dialogue and raising awareness to fight domestic abuse.
BDAP is a partnership that brings together key agencies in Bedfordshire and works closely with local authorities to help provide services in and around the local areas to improve local response to domestic abuse.
Notes to editor
- Morgan Wiseman Solicitors is based at 66-68 Alma Street, Luton, LU1 2PL
- The total number of domestic-abuse related offences in the year ending March 31, 2018 across Bedfordshire stood at 5561
- Victims or agencies can contact the DA Alliance via:
- Walk-in: 66-68 Alma Street, Luton, LU1 2PL
- Telephone: 0800 1017 110
- Email: email@example.com
For media enquiries contact:
07814 491 581
07926 127 630
The Prime Minister has long made it a priority to update the law in this area but amid fears it could be sidelined by whoever replaces her she wants to get it through Parliament and onto the statute book.
A senior government source told The Sunday Times: “When she entered Downing Street, she promised action on domestic abuse as part of her commitment to tackling society’s burning injustices.
“She will make sure that she delivers on that promise by introducing the domestic abuse bill before she leaves office so there can be no backtracking on the issue by whoever succeeds her.”
The domestic abuse bill is expected to be introduced to the Commons on 16 July, just a week before Mrs May is expected to exit Number 10.
The proposed legislation will introduce a definition of domestic abuse to include “emotional” and “economic” abuse for the first time, and is aimed at making it easier to prosecute perpetrators and provide more support for victims.
It is one of a number of legacy issues the PM has undertaken since she confirmed a date for when she resigns, but the spending implications have caused tension with the Chancellor Philip Hammond.
It has led to Mrs May rebuking him in a veiled attack by pointing out she was still in charge of the country for the time being.
Whilst at the G20 summit in Tokyo she signalled she is determined to press ahead with her plans, including boosting the education budget by £27bn.
She told reporters: “Look, government is continuing. I’ve still got work to do as prime minister until I hand over to my successor.
“And I think it’s important that we continue to take decisions that are right decisions for this country.”
The PM was speaking after urging world leaders to do more on climate change after leading a meeting at the summit.
She called on the rest of the G20 countries to follow the UK’s lead by enshrining in law a commitment to be a net zero emitter of CO2 by 2050.
But instead they were only willing to agree a statement which committed them to the “irreversibility” of the 2015 Paris agreement and pledged the full implementation of its targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.
Original article available here: https://www.politicshome.com/news/uk/education/news/104941/theresa-may-use-final-days-office-pass-new-domestic-abuse-legislation
‘He was trying to cobble the money together’: Vulnerable people facing ‘extortionate’ fees to apply for immigration status
Disabled refugees paying hundreds to settle status under newly outsourced system
Abdul Farooq thought applying for leave to remain in the UK would be straightforward. The 56-year-old Manchester resident had been granted refugee status five years earlier after fleeing religious persecution. Now he wanted to secure his right to remain in the country with his family.
When he logged onto the online UK visa system, however, he realised the process could be far more complex – and costly – than he thought.
The Pakistani national, who was born without his right hand, had been told he simply had to book an appointment to submit the relevant documents within six weeks. But he was informed by the website that the last available slot was in London, at a cost of £780.
Fearful of not completing the process in time, Abdul, who works in a petrol station shop and lives with his wife and teenage son, desperately began to ask friends whether they could lend him money to help him meet the cost before his deadline.
His son-in-law, Suhail Raja, soon realised what was happening and intervened. He tried to book an appointment for Abdul, but was met with the same issue. Free visa appointments are only available in six UK locations, and none of them had available slots. The only option given was to attend a “premium” appointment more than 200 miles away in Croydon.
“We were checking the website around 20 times a day. There were no free appointments,” says Suhail, 33. “The only available appointments were in London, the premium ones, where they were charging £780.
“Abdul was trying to cobble £800 together, but I said you shouldn’t be doing that. I phoned and was waiting for 65 minutes. They said they couldn’t do anything and that I needed to check just after midnight when new appointments are put on the system. We tried that many times and still had no luck.”
They resorted to going to their local MP, at which point the Home Office eventually responded by offering Abdul an appointment in Manchester for 17 July. But this falls after the deadline for his application to be submitted, so the family is worried it will be refused.
Abdul is one of many foreign nationals in the UK to have encountered problems when trying to submit immigration applications.
While visa applicants could previously go to their local post office to provide biometric data such as fingerprints, this is no longer an option under the Home Office’s privatised visa system, which was outsourced to French firm Sopra Steria last November.
They must now attend one of just six “core centres” across the country which offer a free service, or another 51 which charge fees starting from £60.
Solicitors say applicants had been unable to book free appointments due to a lack of availability on Sopra Steria’s website, with some forced to travel hundreds of miles or pay high fees in order to submit their applications on time.
Cross-party MPs and lawyers have demanded an independent investigation into the newly privatised visa system amid warnings it is putting legal migrants at risk of being “thrown into the hostile environment”.
In another case, a Sudanese refugee family in Newcastle is having to question whether or not they can apply for citizenship after encountering barriers in the new system.
The family of five, which includes three children – two severely disabled – is facing the choice of either paying £300 for an appointment in Newcastle, or travelling over 140 miles – with two disability buggies – to attend a free one in Manchester.
Their legal advisor, Claire Hurst, from the Law Centre, said she had tried to find guidance on how to apply for disability exemptions, but to no avail.
“They haven’t applied yet because they were going to borrow the money to be able to apply from family and friends anyway, and they don’t have that kind of disposable income – they are recently settled refugees,” she added. “So they’re having to rethink whether they should go ahead. Or whether they should stagger the applications.”
Ms Hurst said that without citizenship the family, who have been in the UK for six years, is unable to travel abroad, meaning they can’t visit family, and that it could make life more complicated for the children, one of whom was born in Britain.
“Under this new system, people are having to question whether or not to apply for things they have every right to,” she added.
In another case, a seriously ill man in Edinburgh submitted his visa application and booked an free appointment in Glasgow, but due to ill health was unable to make the journey, so had to cancel it.
He and his wife could not find a way to contact the Home Office to ask whether they could get a disability exemption.
Their solicitor, John Vassiliou of McGill & Co Solicitors, said the only option was to involve his local MP because there was “no other means of initiating meaningful dialogue with the Home Office about difficult issues”.
He said: “The Home Office have worked hard over the last few years to cut off all points of communication with the outside world. Their customer service contact centre is worse than useless. The call centre staff are simply unable to assist in any meaningful way with complex issues.
“There is no facility for lawyers to initiate direct contact with immigration officers. If you need to get something done these days you very often have to involve the MP.”
The issue was resolved after the local MP contacted the Home Office, but it required “a very large amount of time and stress”.
“At one point they were in discussions with the hospital about hiring a private ambulance to take him to Glasgow under medical supervision just so he could give his biometrics,” said Mr Vassiliou.
“These are not the type of conversations and stresses that people should be enduring while they are being treated in their hospital beds.”
Sopra Steria apologised for the “inconvenience” caused to Mr Farooq, saying it had experienced a surge in demand and subsequently increased capacity.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to those unable to access appointments, which have been subject to a higher than expected demand.”
They added that the department was working closely with Sopra Steria to ensure additional appointments are made available at existing sites across the UK.
MPs and lawyers call for investigation into privatised visa system which allows firms to make millions
Exclusive: Cross-party politicians back demands for urgent review into Home Office partnership with French firm Sopra Steria following warnings legal migrants risk being ‘thrown into the hostile environment’
MPs and lawyers are demanding an independent investigation into the government’s newly outsourced visa system after it emerged private firms were raking in millions of pounds as vulnerable people are forced to pay “extortionate” fees and travel long distances to apply for UK status.
Cross-party politicians have backed calls for an urgent review into the Home Office’s partnership with French firm Sopra Steria following warnings legal migrants risked being “thrown into the hostile environment” after the visa processing service was outsourced to the company last November.
The Independent reported earlier this week that the new system – under which applicants must attend one of just six “core centres” across the country which offer a free service, or another 51 which charge a fee starting from £60 – was forcing people to travel hundreds of miles or pay high fees in order to submit their applications on time due to a lack of free appointments.
Labour, the Liberal Democrats and the Green Party have since written to the National Audit Office (NAO) requesting that they conduct an investigation to provide parliament with a report on the operation of the contract.
In a letter to the watchdog, Labour MP Paul Blomfield said this would enable MPs to “scrutinise effectively the services provided by Sopra Steria, which thousands of our constituents will require”.
“I remain extremely concerned about [the firm’s] capacity and ability, particularly as we approach the inevitable increase in demand that will result from the ‘student surge’ period in September 2019 and applications for the EU Settlement Scheme,” said Mr Blomfield in the letter.
An NAO spokesperson said they had received the letter and would be “considering its contents carefully” in the coming days and deciding how best to respond to the concerns it raises.
The demands have been backed by the Law Society and the Immigration Law Practitioners’ Association (ILPA), which represent solicitors and barristers across the country. Both have previously raised concerns with the Home Office about their misgivings with the system.
Christina Blacklaws, president of the Law Society, said: “Given the problems which have been raised by us and by others it makes sense at this point for the operation to be subject to independent scrutiny. We are extremely concerned inconsistencies in the process could lead to unlawful or incorrect decisions for applicants.”
Cross-party politicians including shadow immigration minister Afzal Khan, Liberal Democrat home affairs spokesperson Ed Davey, Green Party co-leader Jonathan Bartley and Labour MP David Lammy have backed the demands.
While visa applicants could previously go to their local post office to provide biometric data such as fingerprints, they must now attend one of the six offices in the UK that offer a free service, located in Manchester, Birmingham, Glasgow, Cardiff, Belfast and Croydon.
There are another 51 centres, mainly based in local libraries, which charge a fee starting from £60. Sopra Steria also offers a “premium service” through a partner company called BLS, where appointments start at £200. The service made more than £2m between January and April 2019, according to data obtained through a freedom of information (FOI) request.
Solicitors said applicants had been unable to book free appointments due to a lack of availability on Sopra Steria’s website, with some forced to travel hundreds of miles or pay high fees – sometimes the premium option – in order to submit their applications on time.
In one case, a disabled Pakistani refugee in Manchester was repeatedly unable to book a free appointment for his leave to remain application due to a lack of availability. The only alternative offered to Abdul Farooq, 56, was to attend the premium lounge in London at a cost of £780.
His local MP Afzal Khan, said this was a ”laughably high sum” that his constituent ”just can’t afford”, adding: “UKVCAS appointments are compulsory, but too frequently entirely unavailable outside of London. Sopra Steria is putting profit above people, and the Home Office should urgently review its partnership with the company.”
In other cases, applicants have been met with a “maze of misinformation and misdirection” while completing the new online application forms provided by the firm, which lawyers said had led people to abandon the process or submit inaccurate applications, potentially leading to erroneous refusals.
Mr Davey of the Liberal Democrats said it was a “scandal” that private firms were “profiteering” from fees for visa applications, adding: “People who come to our country bring massive benefits for our economy and our society. We should welcome them, not set up huge financial barriers.”
Labour MP Ian Murray raised concerns about the fact that there is only one centre offering free appointments in Scotland, saying it “completely misunderstood the geography” of the country and that it was “just another example of the hostile environment” created by the Home Office.
Mr Lammy said it was a “national disgrace” that the visa system was being outsourced to private firms for profit, saying it created an “outrageous additional barrier” to an “often already systematically unfair” process.
“Many of those who cannot afford to pay exorbitant fees or travel vast distances have every right to remain in the UK. This grubby system is forcing them to endure all the indignities of the hostile environment,” he added.
A Sopra Steria spokesperson said their locations were designed to give 78 per cent of applicants access to a centre within 50 miles and 62 per cent access to a centre within 25 miles.
They said they had expanded their capacity, with seven additional service points set to go live by July 2019, including a second core location in Manchester, in response to consumer demand.
A Home Office spokesperson said: “We are sorry for any inconvenience caused to those unable to access appointments, which have been subject to a higher than expected demand.”
They added that the department was working closely with Sopra Steria to ensure additional appointments are made available at existing sites across the UK.
Migrants coming to the UK could face varying minimum salary thresholds depending on where they live under proposals put out for review by the home secretary, Sajid Javid.
The white paper on post-Brexit immigration policy, published in December, included a to-be-determined minimum salary threshold for high-skilled workers. The current minimum salary for most experienced workers coming from non-EU countries is £30,000.
Javid – after infighting within the cabinet over maintaining the current £30,000 threshold for all high-skilled migrant workers coming to the UK post-Brexit, as well as warnings from business, universities and social care – has asked the government’s chief migration advisers to review the levels before they come into force from 2021.
He has also asked the migration advisory committee to consider if there was a case for regional salary thresholds for different parts of the UK, which would be of particular interest to the Scottish government, after it previously warned the cap could cut eligible EU workers in Scotland by 85%.
Javid said: “It’s vital the new immigration system continues to attract talented people to grow our economy and support business while controlling our borders.
“These proposals are the biggest change to our immigration system in a generation, so it’s right that we consider all of the evidence before finalising them.
“That’s why I’ve asked independent experts to review the evidence on salary thresholds. It’s crucial the new immigration system works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.”
Last month, the environment secretary, Michael Gove, called on Javid to bring in flexible immigration rules for skilled workers after Brexit to avoid vacancies in certain industries.
Gove criticised the £30,000 salary threshold for immigrant workers, saying measuring whether someone qualified as skilled by their salary was not appropriate for all industries when he gave evidence at Holyrood’s rural economy committee.
Javid has asked the migration advisory committee to consider how future salary thresholds should be calculated; the levels of salary thresholds; whether there is a case for regional salary thresholds for different parts of the UK, and whether there should be exceptions to salary thresholds, for example because workers have newly started the occupation or because they work in an occupation in shortage.
The committee is expected to present its findings in January 2020.
The new immigration system would bring the end of free movement and EU citizens would be treated the same as non-EU citizens.
The white paper contains an additional proposal to try to alleviate concerns about the new system: a transitional measure, to run for an initial five years, for low-skilled workers earning less than the threshold. This would allow people with lower-paid jobs to come to the UK for a maximum of 12 months, with a cooling-off period of a further 12 months to prevent people settling in the UK as a result.
Original article available here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2019/jun/24/sajid-javid-suggests-post-brexit-migration-salary-rules-could-vary-by-region
The Home Office is calling on an expert body to assess whether post-Brexit migration rules should be different in Wales.
It comes as part of a UK government consultation on a minimum £30,000 salary for skilled migrants seeking five-year visas.
A review by a leading economist warned the salary threshold would hit Wales harder than the rest of the UK.
The UK is due to leave the EU on 31 October.
Home Secretary Sajid Javid MP asked the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to “review the evidence on salary thresholds”.
In December 2018, the UK government published its much-delayed plans for a new post-Brexit immigration system, including a 12 month consultation on the £30,000 threshold.
The Welsh Government commissioned Prof Jonathan Portes to consider the salary threshold’s possible impact on Wales.
The economics professor at King’s College London’s report called for the Welsh Government and businesses to press for a lower threshold, claiming £20,000 would “mitigate modestly” the potential impact.
He said “quite a few European migrants who are doing what you might call semi-skilled or medium-skilled jobs”, such as manufacturing, would be caught by the £30,000 threshold.
In a letter sent to the MAC on Monday, Sajid Javid MP asked the government advisers to consider whether the “salary thresholds are applicable to the whole of the United Kingdom or whether there is a need for greater regional variation.”
The home secretary added: “These proposals are the biggest change to our immigration system in a generation, so it’s right that we consider all of the evidence before finalising them.
“It’s crucial the new immigration system works in the best interests of the whole of the UK.”
The advisory committee is expected to produce its report by January 2020, whilst the new post-Brexit immigration system is set to be phased in from 2021.
It has already suggested the creation of a Wales-specific list of particular jobs aimed at plugging gaps in the labour market.
Workers applying for jobs which are on the Shortage Occupation List (SOL) are effectively allowed to jump the immigration queue.
The Welsh Government’s Counsel General has already cautiously welcomed the idea of a Welsh SOL but said it “is not the answer” if the salary threshold is maintained.
Jeremy Miles told the assembly in early June: “We must have a fair migration policy in place, one which protects EU citizens who have made Wales their home and which ensures that our future labour market needs are met. Any salary threshold should be well below £30,000.
“We need to ensure that Wales is still seen as an attractive place to live and work, and that we are still a welcoming nation,” he added.
A Welsh Government spokesman said: “A £30,000 threshold would not work for Wales and would hit our economy hard. Nurses, junior doctors, vets and a range of workers we need for our public services and industry will find it much more difficult and less attractive to come to Wales under these proposals.
“The immigration system should help our economy and people, not stifle it and limit its potential.”
Original article available here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-wales-politics-48749468