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05/12/2023

Alliance Condemns UK Govt's Changes To Skilled Workers' Salary

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Alliance has condemned the UK Government's decision to increase salary requirements for skilled workers calling it a "needless act of cruelty".

The party's Economy spokesperson Sorcha Eastwood MLA made the comments as the Home Secretary made the announcement that the terms of the shortage occupation list will be changed and the salary requirements of skilled workers' will be increased.

The Lagan Valley MLA said manufacturing, tech, agriculture and health and social care are among the areas where we need people.

In a statement, Sorcha Eastwood MLA said:

"These actions have not taken into account the views and needs of many sectors across Northern Ireland and could prove disastrous.

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"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.

"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."

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