It’s populist, xenophobic nonsense that doesn’t make any economic sense at all. A few questions for the government:
• if we’re at or close to full employment, as has been suggested, where are people for the jobs that need filling going to come from? • related to that, who’s going to do the jobs that migrant workers do because Brits refuse to do them? • do you understand the difference between low-skilled and low-paid? Care work, for example, is very low-paid, as is nursing. Neither are low-skilled.
A minor case in point, but I’ve worked in a managed building where 100% of the cleaning staff are foreign nationals. They all work hard, don’t earn much but contribute to society and pay their taxes. I’d be surprised if any would get in under these proposals.
I also don’t think the policy wonks who came up with this drivel understand how ‘climbing the ladder’ works. Many foreigners held up as ‘people done good’ are those who came here penniless, but with hope, and worked their way up. This system would cut that off entirely.
A slightly more Machiavellian view might suggest it’s a mechanism to keep poor Brits in their place. No foreigners to clean the offices and empty the bins? It won’t be the white middle class British kids of the future who end up doing those jobs.
The slightly counter-intuitive thing about all of this is that since the EU referendum, the UK public’s view on freedom of movement have shifted to the highest net in-favour of it in recorded history. I think most people understand both the inevitability of, and need for, immigration.
This policy seems symptomatic of a cheap nastiness though from people who don’t understand how society actually works.