author: Alistair Grant
POST-BREXIT immigration plans have been slammed as “cruel and stupid” after new research revealed 1.5 million jobs in Scotland are under the proposed £30,000 salary threshold.
Scottish Labour said the UK Government’s proposals to introduce a minimum salary threshold for EU migrants would have a disastrous impact north of the Border.
It said analysis from the House of Commons library showed the scale of the impact on key sectors such as health and social care, retail services and hospitality.
In the year to September 2018, there were around 206,000 workers living in Scotland who were not UK nationals. This included 145,000 EU nationals and 61,000 people from outside the EU.
Shadow Scottish secretary Lesley Laird said: “This proposed Tory immigration policy is cruel and stupid. This is the party who treated the Windrush generation appallingly, and then attempted to use EU citizens as bargaining chips in the Brexitnegotiations.
“Years of being pushed to the right by Ukip has saw them pander to the right wing of their party when it comes to immigration.”
She added: “The proposed salary threshold would apply to 1.5million jobs in Scotland, and would hammer key sectors of our economy and vital public services like our NHS.
“People who choose to make Scotland their home are our friends and family. They are an integral part of our economy and our public services but most importantly of all they are part of our communities too.”
Scottish ministers have repeatedly raised fears over the impact of a £30,000 salary threshold in Scotland.
Around 26,000 non-UK nationals work in health and social care north of the Border, with around 29,000 working in accommodation and food services.
A UK Government spokesperson said the skills-based immigration system is designed to “drive up wages and productivity”.
He said: “It will help us attract the talented workers we need while delivering on the referendum result and ending free movement. The system will be quicker, easier and there will be no cap on the number of skilled workers who can come to the UK. The Temporary Worker route is open to all skill levels and will ensure UK employers have the staff they need, including seasonal workers.”