MSP’s con­cern over mi­gra­tion pro­pos­als

Rutherglen Reformer - - News -

New pro­pos­als aimed at cut­ting mi­gra­tion num­bers will have a neg­a­tive im­pact on Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang, the area’s MSP has claimed.

Clare Haughey MSP was re­spond­ing to Govern­ment plans 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, pub­lished last week, could re­sult in an 85 per cent re­duc­tion in the num­ber of EEA work­ers to Scot­land, and Ms Haughey has now stated this would have an ad­verse ef­fect lo­cally.

She be­lieves that the moves would lead to short­ages in the NHS and with care providers.

Ms Haughey said: “Our NHS and care sec­tor here in Ruther­glen and Cam­bus­lang is in real dan­ger. These Tory 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.

“Tory 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 SNP 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.”

The pol­icy chair of the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses (FSB) in Scot­land also raised con­cerns.

An­drew McRae said “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.”

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.

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