MAC’s Recommendation For A New Pay Threshold
Dt - 05/11/11

HSMP Forum's Press Release

A new salary threshold may be proposed for migrants applying for Indefinite Leave to Remain (permanent settlement) in the UK if the government decides to act on the Migration Advisory Committee’s report.

The Migration Advisory Committee report says “To ensure greater differentiation in the selection decision, we suggest implementing a minimum annual pay threshold. This could reasonably be between 31,000 and 49,000 per year.”

The current criterion for ILR is to show the salary drawn at the time of applying for previous extension. Now it is likely to be changed to a pay bracket ranging from 31,000 to 49,000.

However, MAC Chief David Metcalf states that some exceptions should be made in the public sector jobs“which will contribute to future economic growth”.

Nurses, for instances are in short supply and may not be able to fulfil the income criteria and hence should be made an exception. Even a teacher may be on a similar salary scale and may not be able to show substantial earnings. Does that mean that the teacher has no right to settlement or “does not contribute to future economic growth”? The whole idea of introducing such an income criteria is a blatant mockery of the system. The MAC committee very conveniently ignores the private sector and when there are deliberations about privatising many public services, such a rule will only create a skills shortage in many areas similar to nurses in the country and will cause a significant impact in the already unstable market.

Amit Kapadia, Executive Director of HSMP Forum said “This is nothing but victimisation of migrants. After letting them stay on for five years and profiting from their taxes, the government cannot impose a new criteria to evict them from the country after they have invested their time and earnings into building a life in the UK, and contributed towards the UK economy."

“The HSMP forum believes that introducing the income criterion is a major flaw and will not yield any results. It will only create more problems and insecurity for the already troubled migrants, who are hanging to their stability by a thread due to constant immigration changes. Introducing a rule and then adding exception to it shows the shallowness of the system and the lack of clarity behind such an action.”

“We vehemently oppose these changes. The government is constantly victimising migrants and treating them like a punching bag to score their political points. A migrant who is good to come here, pay taxes and contribute to the UK economy, is the best and the brightest and should not be forced out from the UK when she seeks settlement. This is exploitation of the highest order. This is not good for the UK economy and UK’s image in the long run.”

Notes for editors:
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