The Government is considering levying a £1,000 tax on every skilled worker from the European Union recruited by a British business, the Immigration Minister, Robert Goodwill, said today.
Commenting, Anna Soubry MP, leading supporter of Open Britain, said:
“This would be a tax on successful businesses. It is totally wrong to imply that EU citizens are a burden to British business when they are in fact a huge positive for our economy.
“EU citizens in Britain work hard, pay their taxes and have made a net £20bn contribution to the public finances in recent years. Discouraging EU nationals from coming to Britain would harm our economy, deterring investment and hitting our public finances.
“Firms hire EU workers for the simple reason that we have skills shortages in this country. To get our own people into work, we need to focus more on training and apprenticeships. Stopping businesses from bringing in the workers they need will do nothing to help unemployed Brits, and will do everything to damage our economy.”
Notes to editors:
Robert Goodwill’s proposal is reported here: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2017/jan/11/britain-considering-1000-a-year-levy-for-skilled-eu-workers-robert-goodwill.
Research by economists from University College, London has found that EU citizens made a £20bn net contribution to UK public finances between 2000 and 2011: https://www.theguardian.com/uk-news/2014/nov/05/eu-migrants-uk-gains-20bn-ucl-study.