Nuffield Trust response to new UK points-based immigration system

John Appleby responds to the announcement today of a new migration system for the UK from the end of this year.

Press release

Published: 19/02/2020

Responding to the Home Secretary’s announcement today of a new migration system from the end of this year [1], Nuffield Trust Chief Economist John Appleby said:

“Migration has been a crucial safety valve for crisis-stricken social care services, with workers from overseas filling vital roles helping people with basic tasks like washing, dressing and personal hygiene. Stopping migration for social care risks pushing a sector on which many vulnerable people depend over the edge.

“Our own analysis shows that to actually provide help to everyone who needs it, as the Prime Minister has promised, we will need 90,000 more workers [2]. Yet at the moment we have rising vacancies, even with rising numbers of European migrant staff [3]. It’s no coincidence that Australia and other countries with points-based migration systems have found they need to make special exemptions for care workers. [4]

“Increasing the wages of social care workers to make social care a more attractive career for domestic workers could be one answer. But with the sector on the verge of bankruptcy, this is a non-starter unless the government stumps up extra funding way beyond the extra annual £1 billion already pledged for this parliament. And this would need to be on top of money to reform or expand the help people are offered.”