Government immigration plans could be disastrous for NI industry

  • CBI Northern Ireland reports that the UK Government's proposed plans for immigration policy following Brexit would disproportionately harm Northern Irish businesses, including the NI construction industry.

    The UK government is currently pursuing plans for a post-Brexit visa system that would prevent immigration of foreign nationals on salaries lower than £30,000 per year. This would prevent firms from employing foreign workers for less than £30,000 per year, which it turns out could have a disastrous impact on some types of UK business.

    CBI Northern Ireland published a report yesterday detailing the expected impact on UK businesses in the event that this policy is put into force, and it's not looking good for Northern Ireland. The median private sector wage in the UK is actually below the threshold at £24,006, and Northern Ireland is even worse off at just £22,016.

    Around 71% of workers in Northern Ireland actually earn less than the threshold, so Northern Ireland would be disproportionately harmed by the proposed cap. The effects will be most damaging in the manufacturing sector, including food and drink manufacturing where around 39% of workers are currently EEA nationals.

    CBI Northern Ireland Director Angela McGowan warned that Northern Ireland may face severe hardship under the proposed cap. "Our Agri-industry, hospitals, housebuilders and retailers are just a few examples of major employers already struggling to find the people they need at salaries well below £30,000. Installing further barriers via these proposals will make Northern Ireland poorer."

    Source: CBI Press Release

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