UK Government move to increase salary requirements for skilled workers a needless act of cruelty, says Eastwood

A move by the UK Government to increase the minimum salary requirements for skilled workers and change the terms of the shortage occupation list is a needless act of cruelty, Alliance Economy spokesperson Sorcha Eastwood MLA has said.

Economy Sorcha Eastwood

The Lagan Valley MLA was speaking following the announcement by the Home Secretary.

“These actions have not taken into account the views and needs of many sectors across Northern Ireland and could prove disastrous,” said Ms Eastwood.

“It is clear the Conservatives are making policy to appease a small section of their membership and not making evidenced based decisions for the betterment of the local economy and wider society. This is an act of needless cruelty which will have devastating consequences for people here with loved ones overseas.

“I would urge them to engage with stakeholders across Northern Ireland, including our health and social care service. The reality is we have different needs and a different economy to other areas of the UK, and therefore should have an input into migration policy reflecting that.

“We need to continue to encourage people to come here and positively contribute to areas in which they are needed most. Manufacturing, health and social care, agriculture, fishing, creative industries and tech are just some of the areas in which we need people.

“Following the statement by the Home Secretary, it is essential we see the independent evidence base upon which these policies are being taken and what consideration, if any, was given to Northern Ireland. Otherwise once again we are seeing an ideological obsession against migration prioritised at the cost of economic considerations.

“It is also clear we need more powers to ensure regional flexibility when it comes to workers’ visas.”