The proposed £30,000 post-Brexit salary threshold for EU migrants risks destabilising the capital’s social care services and hampering efforts to tackle the housing crisis, London Councils has warned.
In a letter to the home secretary Sajid Javid, London Councils chair Peter John (Lab) says the capital is “more than twice as reliant on” workers from the European Economic Area as the rest of the UK and would struggle if the threshold was implemented as proposed in the government’s immigration white paper.
Cllr John, who is leader of Southwark LBC, said a third of jobs in the construction sector, where 40% of roles are paid less than £30,000, were held by EEA nationals.
“The proposed threshold would therefore create potential labour shortages for housebuilders, hampering our efforts to get more affordable homes built in the capital,” he said.
“EEA nationals also make up 13% of the capital’s social care workforce – double the national average. As such, a £30,000 threshold could increase the pressure on an already struggling social care system, disrupting the services which we provide to the elderly and the most vulnerable.”
It has been reported there is disagreement within cabinet over the proposed threshold, with chancellor Philip Hammond and business secretary Greg Clark said to be concerned about its impact.
The white paper, which sets out proposals for the UK’s immigration system post-Brexit, says migrants with intermediate skills will be able to work provided they earn £30,000 or more. There is no provision for low-skilled workers.