Examination of Witness

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 3:44 pm on 12th February 2019.

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Matthew Fell:

We have a better set of ideas for how you have the right checks and controls in place. If your concern is around whether that is doing any potential damage to local labour markets and local people, first, I do not think the facts bear that out, but even if that was a concern, our suggestions are that there are examples around the world, including relatively close to home in other EEA states, of something akin to a local labour market test where you have to give an initial preference in a simple and quick way. If they were the sort of concerns that you were driving at, there are better ways of doing that than a crude, flat salary threshold.

My other thought on salary thresholds is that, even if they are part of the overall mix of a system design, I venture that, rather than just picking a pure number today that is fixed over time, it would be much better to look at the median salary in the country today or to pick something like the 25th percentile of a particular skill area or something like that, so it adjusts over time and adapts to how the economy evolves. That would feel like a slightly more sophisticated way of going about it than just picking a crude number.