SNP right to challenge migrant worker levy, says FMB Scotland

Posted On: 
30th May 2017

The Scottish National Party (SNP) is right to challenge the Conservative Party's proposals to double the Skills Immigration Charge, the Federation of Masters (FMB) Scotland has said.

Responding to the publication of the SNP’s General Election manifesto, Gordon Nelson, Director of FMB Scotland, said: “The SNP is right to criticise the Tories' plans to increase the levy on skilled migrant labour as such an increase would be very damaging to construction SMEs. The industry is suffering from a severe skills crisis and to combat it construction firms will, at least for the foreseeable future, need access to migrant labour without having to overcome enormous financial and bureaucratic hurdles.”
Nelson concluded: “Similarly, we share the SNP’s concern that the Skills Immigration Charge could be extended to EU citizens post-Brexit. EU workers have come to form a vital part of the construction industry’s workforce and not just in London, but also in Scotland and throughout the UK. If the Immigration Charge was to be extended in this way, a Conservative Government would effectively be obstructing the ability of construction SMEs to recruit non-UK labour. This would be disastrous for the industry and a huge blow to both Westminster and Holyrood’s ability to deliver on key infrastructure and housing targets. SNP MPs must make the argument to whichever party forms the next Government that access to skilled migrant labour will be vital to the Scottish construction industry’s prospects."