The Conservative government’s changes to immigration laws could pose a triple threat to the Scottish care sector and wider economy, according to Scottish Care chief executive of Scottish Care Donald Macaskill.
In basing the UK’s immigration legislation on the Australian points-based system, Westminster is doing significant damage to Scottish social care systems, said Macaskill.
The average wage paid in the Scottish care sector is £17,500, but under the new system even ‘shortage occupation’ workers like nurses will have to earn £20,480 per year to earn a visa.
“We are faced with a triple whammy,” commented Macaskill. “We are closing the door on people coming to live and work and contribute to the economy, we are losing staff because of the toxic rhetoric around immigration coming from certain political voices south of the Border, and we are unable to build the social care economy and innovate in the way we have the potential to because of the economic impacts of these political decisions.
“We have to encourage people to stay. We simply are a country that needs migrants. We need a distinctive solution.”