Tory immigration policies are “offensive and disastrous”

Immigration thegathering-19.02.20 139 01

Nicola Sturgeon opens The Gathering 2020. Picture: Lewis Houghton.

SCVO Gathering hears that Tory immigration plan poses an "existential threat" to Scotland

Graham Martin's photo

19th February 2020 by Graham Martin 4 Comments

UK government immigration policies have been savaged as being both “offensive and disastrous”.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon laid into new Westminster rules which would see a points-based system introduced.

Hardline home secretary Priti Patel has said it would mean immigrants must be assured of earning at least £26.600 once they get to the UK.

However, Sturgeon told the Scottish Council for Voluntary Organisations’ (SCVO) Gathering event that this would wreak devastation on Scotland’s economy.

Launching the two day event at Glasgow’s SEC today, the first minister was asked about immigration.

She responded: “I will try to stay calm when I talk about this even though I struggle. The proposals published this morning are both offensive in principle and absolutely disastrous in practice.

“They are offensive for a couple of really good reasons – they are based on the completely erroneous notion that inward migration drives down wages and working conditions. That is completely and utterly wrong – migrants make a positive net contribution to our economy and our society. It is inadequate workplace protections that drive down conditions, not migrants

“The second reason it is offensive is because when you talk about unskilled workers, who are you talking about? It is care workers, hospitality workers, agricultural workers – the backbone of our economy, people who come to this country to make a contribution. They pay us a compliment, they help to make the country what it is and we should be encouraging them, not putting them off and slamming the door in their face.”

She said that based on Scotland’s demographics, with a declining birth rate, an ageing population and a shrinking tax base, the Home Office moves are “existentially disastrous for Scotland.”

Sturgeon said: “It is the biggest threat to Scotland’s medium and long term prosperity that there is. We need to get the power to determine who comes into our country out of the hands of the likes of Boris Johnson and into our own parliament as soon as possible.”

Scottish Care, which represents more than 400 care organisations around the country, said the sector is dependent on the “tremendous skills and contribution” of migrant workers and the new proposals do little to address their “significant concerns”.

Dr Donald Macaskill, Scottish Care chief executive, said: “Yet again we have a set of proposals which treat the critical role of frontline care as unskilled. This is offensive and these proposals are damaging. To presume anyone can simply do the job of compassionate and dignified care is deluded.

“The salary thresholds, the language and qualification requirements are wholly unrealistic and simply don’t speak to the reality of social care.”

Home secretary Patel said the government wanted to "encourage people with the right talent" and "reduce the levels of people coming to the UK with low skills" and suggested workers could be recruited from people in the UK who are “economically inactive”.

19th February 2020 by J Evans

if Nicola Sturgeon had a bit more backbone, she would defy the Westminster government and allow unfettered immigration into Scotland

21st February 2020 by John

The care workers that work with my autistic son are highly skilled, although their pay doesn't reflect that.

24th February 2020 by Rab Mackintosh

Brexitters never realise that the UK Government has almost exactly the same power over EU immigrants as when the UK was a member of the EU; just that it suited the liars of the Tory cabinet to blame the EU as opposed to implementing any of the allowed controls, basically 3 months to search for a job, pay your own way, then either leave or apply for a residency permit. The Tory Cabinet liars happily blamed the EU for all ills as this diverted attention from their own failings, tax dodging and desire to drive down wages for their multi-millionaire business donors. Examine the habitual liar that is now PM, still spewing out venom, hatred and lies (backed by his henchfolk) whilst all of them keep EU passports, tax dodging status, backhanders by the £billion from their billionaire backers and not a cheep said by the mass media and BBC who are now so biased that Pravda and Stalin start to look miffed. Just wait until Her Boris' 4th Reich has taken over the judiciary, the gas chambers will start soon after.

25th February 2020 by Lok tue

If anyone is spitting out venom, hatred and lies, it is you Mr. Mackintosh. I have rarely read such a hysterical diatribe