The News of the World reports that new Premier Gordon Brown will pledge “British jobs for British people” as he launches yet another shake-up of immigration laws.
Companies who employ illegal workers will face big fines — and the appeals process for failed asylum seekers will be cut.
Extra resources will also be pumped into the new border police and small firms may also get tax incentives to ensure they give British workers skilled jobs such as plumbers, builders or plasterers.
Immigration Minister Liam Byrne — one of the few ministers not moved in Gordon’s reshuffle — is staying at his post to see through the new reforms.
A single new Immigration Bill, which scraps the 10 existing, overlapping Immigration Acts, is now expected in the Queen’s Speech this autumn.
It will order employers to check the nationality of every new worker and make it illegal to give someone a job without checking they have a work permit, with fines of up to £10,000.
More than 500,000 foreign workers have registered in Britain over the past three years.
Cheaper labour or just more willing?
And although many are filling a skills gap, Mr Brown is concerned that too many Brits feel they are being excluded from the jobs market by cheaper foreign rivals.
A Downing Street source said: “Survey after survey shows this is one of the most important issues in the minds of the public.
“The Prime Minister wants to ensure we tackle it properly. His priority is to ensure that British workers are at the front of the queue for jobs because they are better qualified.
“There is no reason why we should be bringing in people to do jobs that British people can do themselves.
“Business has to take responsibility to train young people to take those jobs that are now going to foreign workers.”
Employers would argue that they pay equal rates to all workers and are only employing foreign staff because British workers don’t want to do the job.
The care industry, for example, still struggles to find staff even in areas of high unemployment.
In an interview with the News of the World last year Mr Brown said: “I agree the influx of workers is an issue. I think we will now have to review the law and put new regulations in place.
“Many of those workers are now contributing to the UK economy. We have got to deal with this in a sensitive and sensible manner.”
He explained: “I think it is really important that we now give reassurances to the British people that we will be hiring British people first, giving them the skills they need to get jobs.”
Immigration Matters Comment
In a clear move to save Labour’s flagging chances in the next election, Gordon Brown is shamefully picking on easy targets: vulnerable immigrants who have no means of fighting back.
In taking the path of least resistance to popularity, dour Scot, Gordon Brown, shows just how low he is prepared to go to hang on to the job he inherited from Tony Blair.
In a move which would have made ‘far right’ Conservatives such as Enoch Powell proud, Labour is ruthlessly playing the ‘immigration card’.
Finally, it’s all very well saying “British jobs for British people”, but there are clearly some British jobs that British people just don’t want to do. Here is a list of jobs most Brits would rather leave to foreigners:
Care Assistant in a Nursing Home, Nurse in a Nursing Home, Domestic Worker, Live-in Carer, Nanny, Waiter, Kitchen Hand, Farm Labourer, Mushroom Picker, Food Processor, Meat Cutter in an Abattoir and the list goes on.
Even our local Turkish restaurant had problems finding waiting staff in an area with a fair share of unemployed people.
Eventually a young Polish girl applied for and got the job. She had been in the UK for just two days.
The skill shortages do not only apply to low skilled or health care workers. Britain is in real danger of losing its competitive edge if we continue down this ‘anti-immigration’ road.
If you have any comments or question email Charles Kelly at firstname.lastname@example.org.
For all the latest Home Office announcements see www.immigrationmatters.co.uk