Published On: Thu, Apr 4th, 2024
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We are clamping down on cut-price workers overseas | Express Comment | Comment

Current levels of immigration to the UK are, understandably, a source of huge public concern and are frankly, unsustainable.

Many people, including Daily Express readers, want to know if their views are being heard and if their interests are being considered. They want to know if the Government has a plan. 

The answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes. And we are backing up our words with action. 

We are implementing a comprehensive and tough package of measures which, taken together, mean that around 300,000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year would now be unable to.

And today, we take another step forward as we bring into force an increase to the salary threshold for those arriving on a skilled worker visa to £38,700 – a 48% increase. 

We are equally determined to clamp down on cut-price shortage labour from overseas – we’ve abolished the Shortage Occupation List, with employers no longer able to pay migrants less than UK workers in shortage occupations. 

A new Immigration Salary List has been created, reviewed by the expert, independent Migration Advisory Committee.

These changes will ensure we put British workers first and our immigration system is focused on attracting skilled, highly paid talent from around the world to help grow our economy.

But immigration should not be the first port of call to meet our workforce needs, and our comprehensive Back to Work Plan is designed to practically help employers recruit more people domestically.

Next week, the first step in an incremental increase to the minimum income requirement for Family visas will come into force. In 2025, this will have reached £38,700, so that people only bring dependents to the UK if they can support them financially. This is right and fair.

Both the Prime Minister and the Home Secretary have been clear that legal migration is too high. I wholeheartedly agree. 

The simple fact is that the numbers have to be sustainable. That is the only way the system can truly work in the national interest.

And it is the only way the system will be acceptable to you, the people who live and work here, who use our public services, and who pay your taxes.

This is a significant challenge. There are no quick fixes. 

But we have a plan and will not be deterred. We will deliver the reform that you want and deserve. 

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