Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson

Interesting article on Labour List by Shadow Immigration Minister David Hanson:

Obviously his attacks on the government are just playing to the gallery and should be ignored.

But the proposals are sound - so far as they go.

Taking real action to enforce the minimum wage; doubling the maximum fine for those paying below the NMW to £50,000 and giving local councils the power to enforce the minimum wage;
A reasonable aspiration, but possibly unenforceable (perhaps prison sentences might concentrate the mind?).  I live in a rural area where the minimum wage is routinely flouted.  When there is a surfeit of cheap labour the minimum wage is always going to come under pressure.

We will extend the scope of the Gangmasters’ Licensing Authority
What does this mean in practical terms?

We will strengthening the law so that recruitment agencies aren’t able to discriminate against UK workers from applying for jobs
Discrimination is already illegal - enforce the law.

We will ensure Labour’s housing laws are enforced to stop migrant workers being exploited and crammed into ‘beds in sheds’ and undercutting local workers’;
Difficult to see how this can be done.  Why not require everyone coming into the country to have a sponsor who will be legally responsible for guaranteeing their housing and employment conditions.  Also the sponsor can be financially responsible for the immigrant if they fall ill, become unemployed or otherwise make claims on the state.

And crucially we would make sure we give people here the skills they need for the future by ensuring that large companies bringing in workers from outside the EU also have to offer an apprenticeship for a local worker.
Hmm.  What level of skills will be on offer?  Why not make the existing Education system (which costs billions) ensure that school and college leavers all have high skills in the first place.

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