Plans to tighten immigration rules and impose a new tax for employing non-EU migrant workers would damage the City, a leading business group is warning today.
Less than one week before chancellor George Osborne delivers his 2016 Budget, the British Bankers Association (BBA) said that plans to raise the minimum annual salary requirements for skilled migrant workers on so-called Tier 2 visas, impose a hefty new £1,000 annual tax for each non-EU migrant employed by a company, and beef up requirements for “intra-company” transfers risked undermining the Square Mile’s “competitiveness as a global financial centre.”
“Banks based in the UK need to employ the best people from across the globe in order to compete internationally,” said BBA chief executive Anthony Browne. “Tightening visa requirements will make it more difficult for the industry to attract highly skilled individuals from overseas.”
The Migration Advisory Committee (MAC), an expert panel that advises the government on immigration, first recommended the stricter rules in January. A Home Office spokesperson said yesterday that the government is “considering its findings and will respond in due course.”