Press Release: An extra charge on skilled workers would be a poison pill for UK businesses

For further comments or to arrange an interview, contact Head of Communications Kate Andrews: | 07584 778207. Commenting on the Migration Advisory Committee report, which has suggested an annual charge of £1,000 on skilled workers from outside the EU, Executive Director of the Adam Smith Institute Sam Bowman said:

This charge would be a poison pill for businesses. Good, skilled workers are crucial to the success of businesses, large and small. If British firms are to compete around the world they also need to be able to hire the best people from around the world.

Charging them £1,000 per year and raising the earnings threshold, as the Migration Advisory Committee is proposing, would cripple British firms’ ability to hire the staff they need. It is simply a fantasy to assume that we can train enough British workers to do all the skilled jobs that we need when we need them.

This would also mean much higher staffing costs for the NHS – 11% of all staff and 26% of doctors are non-British (though some of these are from the EU). It’s an anti-business, anti-British proposal and it underlines how wrong-headed the government’s overall immigration stance is.

Notes to Editors:

The Adam Smith Institute is a free market, libertarian think tank based in London. It advocates classically liberal public policies to create a richer, freer world.