Opinion: The flawed ‘points-based’ immigration system is not just wrong, it is downright foolish
- Credit: Chris McAndrew/Creative Commons
Another week, another disastrous immigration policy from the government.
We know that pay is not a fair, or even accurate, way of assessing someone's real value to our society or economy. There are thousands of people in this country doing incredibly important jobs for very low pay. There are also many immigrants living here who are making a huge contribution to our local communities. In Hampstead and Kilburn, we've always had a proud tradition of welcoming immigrants, whether that's from the Commonwealth, Nazi Germany, Ireland, Somalia or any other country. The idea of shutting people out by a crude immigration system that allocates 'points' based largely on how much they earn is not just wrong, it is downright foolish.
Take social care, where staff are looking after older and disabled people, in far too many cases for just the minimum wage. Under the new immigration rules, people looking to move here to help provide this care will be denied entry. Average pay in this sector is below the lowest salary threshold, meaning even if the government classified care work as being in 'shortage' these workers could still not come to the UK.
The dedicated people who educate our children will also be penalised by the policy. The Chief Executive of National Day Nurseries Association (NDNA), Purnima Tanuku OBE, points out that average salaries in early years are below the new minimum salary for immigrants, making it even more difficult to staff nurseries at a time when they are already struggling to recruit.
As your representative, I will continue to champion the diversity in our constituency and the contribution of immigrants.