Bishop, politicians welcome plans to scrap £30k salary requirement for EU migrants

(Photo: Unsplash/Diego Martinez)

The Bishop of Durham has joined politicians in welcoming reports that the Home Secretary is to scrap plans requiring EU migrants to earn £30k. 

The Sun reports that Sajid Javid has told the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) to consider allowing UK firms to pay the "going rate" for employees from the EU following Brexit. 

In a letter to MAC, he also reportedly told them to take regional wage limits into consideration.

In a joint statement, Bishop Paul Butler, former Lib Dem leader Tim Farron, Labour MP Kate Green and Conservative MP Steve Double called the threshold "arbitrary" and said it "has always been a strange measure of what it means to be skilled". 

They expressed particular concern over the impact of the requirement on rural communities in parts of the UK beyond London and the south-east. 

"The average salary in Cornwall is just under £20,000.  In Cumbria, it is just over £20,000.  If set at £30,000 per annum, thousands of skilled, motivated migrants, especially if the jobs they wanted were outside London and the south-east, wouldn't meet this seemingly arbitrary threshold," they said. 

"Workers in agriculture, tourism and hospitality, care homes, creative arts and even nurses simply would not qualify. 

"Under this proposal, many communities outside of London would experience immigration almost exclusively in the churn of short-term worker visas, risking social cohesion and polarising attitudes towards migration." 

The MAC's recommended threshold was contained in the Immigration White Paper released last December and backed by Theresa May. 

An unnamed source told The Sun that Mr Javid was "basically telling the MAC to go away and do their work all over again".

"He knows Theresa is off and he's cashing in," the source claimed.