Home Secretary Sajid Javid unveiled the Tories’ immigration white paper today, saying he would consult on plans to only allow ‘skilled’ migrants to enter the UK if they earn £30,000 a year.
UNISON Eastern regional secretary Chris Jenkinson said: “Sajid Javid doesn’t need to consult on his wrong-headed £30,000 salary plan, he needs to abandon it.
“There are workers across our public services doing absolutely vital work for much less than £30,000 a year.
“Javid and May are telling nurses, homecare workers and teaching assistants that they’re unskilled and unwanted – while someone sitting in the City of London gambling on the stock exchange is apparently a great asset to our economy and our society.
“Hospitals in the east of England rely on EU nationals more than in any region outside London, with more than one in six nurses and healthcare assistants at West Hertfordshire, Royal Papworth and Mid Essex trusts coming from the EU.
“Our public services simply can’t survive without the enormous contribution that workers from the EU and further afield make.
And UNISON Eastern Black members chair Mo Tsentides added: “Employees giving their all to keep our public services going – in care homes, schools and local councils across the UK – have already felt the heat from May and Javid’s hostile environment towards immigrants.
“We see what this hostile environment means when a school child is attacked and waterboarded in the playground for being foreign or a member of the Windrush generation frantically has to search for decades-old paperwork to prove their right to remain in the UK after a lifetime living and working here.
“Ministers should be dismantling the rules that make people feel unwelcome here, not extending them to EU nationals.”