A group of Conservative MPs has called on Rishi Sunak to drastically reduce migration to the UK.
The plan calls for several measures, including scrapping temporary visa schemes for care workers, tightening restrictions on student visas, and capping the number of refugees accepted for resettlement in the UK.
The New Conservatives hope that the plan will reduce net migration by 400,000 before the next election. According to the Office for National Statistics, the UK’s population grew by more than 600,000 people last year, which was largely driven by an influx of migrants from outside the EU.
[The British people] did not vote for mass migration and the social and economic harms it brings
Tom Hunt, Conservative MP
A recent report, written by Conservative MP Tom Hunt, claims that the British public “did not vote for mass migration and the social and economic harms it brings”. The recent statistics present major challenges for the Conservative Party, who have repeatedly pledged to reduce net migration since taking power in 2010.
A key recommendation in the report is to close visa schemes for care workers, which should see a reduction in long-term immigration to the UK of 82,000. An additional policy involves only admitting skilled labourers with a minimum income of £38,000 a year.
Sam Monaghan, chief executive at Methodist Homes, believes that “cutting off a key supply of care workers at a time when 500,000 people nationwide are waiting for care is not the answer”.
If they want more significant restrictions, it requires an honest conversation about the wider consequences and how to mitigate them
Madeline Sumption, Director of Migration Observatory, University of Oxford
Rishi Sunak’s official spokesman went on to say that there were no plans to remove care workers from the occupation shortage list. It follows a recent report by the charity Skills for Care, which states that in 2021-22, there were 165,000 open vacancies in the social care sector.
Madeleine Sumption, Director of the Migration Observatory at the University of Oxford, claims that some of the proposals in the report were “a bit outlandish”.
She added, “If they want more significant restrictions, it requires an honest conversation about the wider consequences and how to mitigate them.”