Bizarre proposal to charge migrants £30,000 for a Work Visa largely criticised

Professor Becker said that ‘The proposal is that governments should sell the right to immigrate. The government should set a price each year and anyone would be accepted, aside from obvious cases such as potential terrorists, criminals and people who are very sick and who would be immediately a big burden to the health system.’ He went on to say that ‘If a fee of, say, $50,000 (£30,000) were charged, it would ensure that economically active migrants who had a real commitment to the country were most attracted. This fee could be used to lower other taxes.’

In response to the report the Gillian Econopouly of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation (REC) said that “The auctioning of visas to work in the UK was explored and ultimately rejected during the UKBA\’s consultation on the immigration cap last year. This was a common sense victory for smaller employers, skilled workers wishing to come to the UK, and the labour market as a whole. While the immigration cap remains problematic for many companies, the current policy does take into account shortage occupations and the actual needs of employers in determining which workers can take up jobs in the UK. Under the current rules, both larger and smaller firms can become visa sponsors in order to bring in the skilled workers they need. Allowing visas to be allocated to individuals or companies who can pay a premium would only create an unequal playing field, and could fail to bring in the right workers with the necessary skills. Any sensible immigration regime must be based on actual labour market needs, rather than simply auctioning off visas to the highest bidder.”

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