UK Immigration Changes

The headline from Stuff, in New Zealand, on the Conservative Party manifesto for the UK election is “New Zealand, Australian workers to suffer under Theresa May’s immigration pledges”. This angle has been entirely ignored in the UK press, which does have the feel of a nation turning inwards.

One of the pledges will require UK companies who employ a migrant worker to pay £2,000 per employee, per year to the UK government. That is probably low enough so that current employees are not going to be fired en masse. And, high enough to discourage new employment of migrant workers, including those earning significantly more than the minimum wage.

Incidentally, with around 6m non-UK born workers in the UK, this amounts to a tax grab of some £12bn per year.

There is a problem with the over-supply of low-skilled, low-wage labour in the UK. It is a shame that the Conservatives are unable to focus on that. Other countries will reply in kind. This is a nasty, inward looking measure.