"I have never welcomed the weakening of family ties by politics or pressure" - Nelson Mandela.
"He who travels for love finds a thousand miles no longer than one" - Japanese proverb.
"Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence." - Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights.
"When people's love is divided by law, it is the law that needs to change". -
David Cameron.

Monday, 15 June 2015

Another attack on families - work permit holders

Cameron's recent announcement on commissioning the "independent" Migration Advisory Committe to advise on reducing UK's demand on migrant labour, on the face of it, didn't seem bad.  It seems reasonable that any nation attempt to ensure it is not reliant on foreigners, for its own long-term prosperity, as foreigners are more likely to leave the country and take their skills with them.

However it's the reasons motivating Cameron's move and the other measures being taken, that are of concern.

It really is all about the net migration target. We badly need and want to stay in Europe - Cameron knows that.  It is far better for us to be in the union than outside it. However wiht membership of EU comes free movement - of people, goods, services and capital. And it's people being able to move freely that most seems to represent a hurdle for the ridiculous net migration target. Why the arbitrary 'tens of thousands' I don't know.  I do believe however that curbing free movement of people won't help achieve the net migration target - as it would also mean British citizens who move to other Member States, and thus contribute to reducing net migration, wouldn't be able to.  However I digress (all too easy to do when faced with the ridiculousness of the NMT!)

Cameron is seeking to reduce our reliance on foreign labour without first ensuring we are able to stand on our own feet by indicating to the world that UK is closed for business; students and workers are increasinly seeking opportunities in our competitors, like USA, Australia, Canada and even Ireland. 

The salary against which Tier 2 visas will be issued is due to increase this year with suggestions that spouses of the Tier 2 holders will not be allowed to work.  So we will be saying 'okay you can stay on in the UK, pay even higher taxes, have no recourse to public funds, but your spouse cannot work'. 

This is likely to alienate the Tier 2 holders whose spouses may understandably resent putting their own career on hold and lose the chance to supplement their family income by being forced to sit at home, twiddling their thumbs.

It seems like a bit of an own goal if pursued, as rather than allow spouses of Tier 2 visa holders to work, pay taxes yet have no recourse to public funds, preventing spouses from working would mean our Tier 2 visa will only be attractive to those
  • who are single
  • with spouses who will remain overseas whilst the Tier 2 holder is in the UK, sending money back home rather than spending more of it to boost our economy.  
  • with spouses who are not particularly qualified or don't speak English, for whom not being able to work in the UK doesn't really make a difference
  • with a stay-at-home spouse looking after kids who will utilise more of our public services which we are told are already strained
So UK would be telling the world - come here to work but only if you earn more money and have a spouse who won't be working in the UK as we prefer you to be a single taxpayer household!

No comments:

Post a comment