Consequential etc provision

Part of Immigration and Social Security Co-ordination (EU Withdrawal) Bill – in a Public Bill Committee at 2:15 pm on 26th February 2019.

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Photo of Kate Green Kate Green Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee of Privileges, Chair, Committee on Standards, Chair, Committee on Standards 2:15 pm, 26th February 2019

I thank the Minister for her response. I especially thank the hon. Member for Chatham and Aylesford for sharing Clive’s experiences, because it is always important to bring a human dimension to our debates.

I know that the Minister is carefully considering the impact of a salary threshold on certain sectors; we would argue that the health and social care sector needs particular special care. I am encouraged by what she says about the MAC review of the shortage occupation list, and I note what she says about the skills level at which workers might be able to come into the UK to work. Of course, the skills that personal assistants and care workers need are not purely academic: they need to have equivalent-level vocational skills, and I am sure that the Minister will want to acknowledge that in the way that the skills threshold is designed. I also say to the Minister that the £30,000 figure that the MAC has used to assess the point at which an average family is making a contribution to the public finances is a little unfair to personal assistants and care workers. Arguably, those people are not just making a financial contribution to the public purse, but are significantly contributing to our overall quality of life, to our public services, and to a sector on which all of us will rely at some point in our lives. I hope that will be considered in the way in which the threshold is applied.

Finally, we would very much like to see the Government’s Green Paper as an underwriting of the good intent that the Minister has spoken of in relation to her colleagues in the Department of Health and Social Care. I know that the Government are giving careful attention to this particular important sector and, in those circumstances and with the leave of the Committee, I will withdraw my amendment. However, I hope that the Minister and her colleagues will take the opportunity to engage directly with disabled people and the personal assistants who provide them with care in the course of the consultation on the White Paper.

I beg to ask leave to withdraw the amendment.