The Tories’ policing plan is bad enough. Their latest immigration one is utterly ludicrous.

Priti Patel
Tracy Keeling

The Tory government’s new plans for policing and prisons came unstuck before they’d even got off the ground. Because a thinktank chaired by Iain Duncan Smith is already calling for changes to immigration rules from home secretary Priti Patel.

Given its track record so far, it wouldn’t come as a surprise if the new government adopted these changes. As a government that appears to prioritise posturing over progress, they’re just the ticket.

Money, money, money

The rightwing Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) released the proposals in a report on 11 August. It’s demanding the minimum threshold of earnings to be raised to a whopping £36,700 for immigrant workers. The threshold is the lowest a worker can earn to be eligible to work in the UK. The government already has a threshold for non-EU immigrants coming to the country to work. But the CSJ is calling on Patel to raise that as part of the post-Brexit immigration policy, where EU citizens will be subject to the threshold too.

The CSJ does call, however, for occupations of “strategic importance” (such as nursing) to be open to exemption to the threshold via a “Certificate of Sponsorship”.

The thinktank also wants the government to review and reform family-related visas, whereby people move to the UK due to family being in the country, such as a spouse. It says the current system:

risks leading to increased low income and low skilled migration in the UK.

Chance would be a fine thing

It didn’t take people long to point out the obvious flaws with the plan, such as the UK waving goodbye to those who aren’t considered to be in an occupation of “strategic importance”:

Then there’s the possibility that EU countries would set up reciprocal arrangements:

Others pointed out that, if such rules had existed previously, a number of people may not have settled in Britain. That includes, potentially, Patel herself:

From bad to worse

Patel has argued for a skills-focused approach to immigration. Since becoming home secretary, she’s also vowed to bring back “integrity” to the system, saying it shouldn’t be a “superficial numbers game”.

But that’s essentially what this proposal would be. Although, rather than controlling the numbers of people coming in, it would control people’s access to Britain based on the financial numbers they earn each year. It makes it all about the money you’ve got rather than the benefit you bring. That sounds right up this Conservative government’s alley.

Featured image via The Telegraph/YouTube

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