Tier 5 Religious Worker Visas — [Mike Gapes in the Chair]

Part of the debate – in Westminster Hall at 3:09 pm on 4th July 2019.

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Photo of Ged Killen Ged Killen Labour/Co-operative, Rutherglen and Hamilton West 3:09 pm, 4th July 2019

I apologise, Mr Gapes, but it does speak to the wider issue where mistakes are made all the time. We already have an under-resourced Home Office, which is why we get so many mistakes, making decisions that are not based on any logic, evidence or fairness, but on ideology, and often getting the decisions wrong and causing enormous hurt to individuals and families. In this case we are talking about what was a relatively straightforward process for ministers of religion to come to this country and we are making it needlessly more complicated, which will inevitably lead to more incorrect decisions and will have a huge impact on local parishes up and down the country.

We are left with the question of why we are doing this. What problem are the Government attempting to fix? We know the problems they will create: parishes in constituencies such as Rutherglen and Hamilton West will be unable to maintain the high level of service that they offer in communities that often badly need it. Coffee mornings, youth clubs, bingo nights, food banks and counselling services are all compromised by the changes. I ask that the Minister to convey to the Immigration Minister the concerns raised today, and I ask them to seriously reconsider the decision.