FEARS FOR ECONOMY AS MIGRANT WORKERS FALL SINCE BREXIT

NI REGISTRATIONS FOR OVERSEAS WORKERS DROPS BY A FIFTH

Local MP Brendan O’Hara has said the Tories’ “narrow-minded Brexit rhetoric” is to blame for a fall in the number of overseas workers coming to Scotland – and warned of the damage to the economy and public services.

Latest figures from the DWP show a drop of over 22% in Argyll and Bute alone, in the number of National Insurance registrations by overseas workers coming to Scotland between 2015 and 2018.

The MP has previously called on the UK Prime Minister to discuss the potential for a devolved immigration scheme pilot in Argyll and Bute, a request that was dismissed by Theresa May back in September 2018[i].

The alarming figures reinforce warnings that Scotland faces a demographic crisis that could jeopardise our ability to fund public services – with an ageing population leaving the country with fewer working-age taxpayers.

Brendan O’Hara led a debate at Westminster on Tuesday 19th March calling for an independent evaluation of the impact of Brexit on the Health and Social care, a sector which is potential facing a staffing crisis if immigration issues are not resolved quickly.

All of Scotland’s population growth over the next 25 years is projected to come from migration.  

With Scottish unemployment at historically low levels, falling migration poses a risk to filling crucial vacancies in our public services and private sector.

Analysis by the Scottish Government found that the Tories’ proposals to cut migration to the tens of thousands would cost the Scottish economy up to £10 billion per year by 2040.

Commenting, SNP MP Brendan O’Hara said:

“The UK government’s hostile approach to migration is failing Argyll and Bute and it’s failing Scotland.

“The Tories’ anti-immigrant obsession and narrow-minded Brexit rhetoric is driving people away from this area, putting our economy and vital public services on the line.  

“Freedom of movement is vital to Argyll and Bute.  Our working age population is predicted to drop by a staggering 36.3% by 2026, an increase of 30% of those aged 75 or over and an overall drop in population of 3.4%[ii].

“The simple fact is that without inward migration our working-age population will decline, making it harder to fund vital public services like hospitals and schools in the future. 

“It is now imperative for Scotland to have the powers to set an immigration policy which suits our specific needs and recognises the huge benefits migrant workers being to our economy and society.”
 
ENDS
 

NINO Registrations To Adult Overseas Nationals Entering The UK (XI)

 

 

 

 

 

Local Authority

2015

2018

Change

% Change

 

 

 

 

 

Aberdeen City

5205

2942

2263

43.47742555

Aberdeenshire

1726

1000

726

42.06257242

Angus

1313

1090

223

16.98400609

Argyll and Bute

570

443

127

22.28070175

City of Edinburgh

11927

10003

1924

16.13146642

Clackmannanshire

113

78

35

30.97345133

Dumfries and Galloway

336

260

76

22.61904762

Dundee City

1338

1131

207

15.47085202

East Ayrshire

92

89

3

3.260869565

East Dunbartonshire

108

96

12

11.11111111

East Lothian

514

499

15

2.918287938

East Renfrewshire

141

119

22

15.60283688

Falkirk

544

323

221

40.625

Fife

2619

1816

803

30.66055746

Glasgow City

9307

9901

-594

-6.382292898

Highland

1680

1425

255

15.17857143

Inverclyde

104

66

38

36.53846154

Midlothian

240

265

-25

-10.41666667

Moray

313

227

86

27.47603834

Na h-Eileanan Siar

69

60

9

13.04347826

North Ayrshire

184

118

66

35.86956522

North Lanarkshire

1034

688

346

33.4622824

Orkney Islands

60

46

14

23.33333333

Perth and Kinross

2725

2031

694

25.46788991

Renfrewshire

746

662

84

11.26005362

Scottish Borders

450

325

125

27.77777778

Shetland Islands

301

93

208

69.10299003

South Ayrshire

280

194

86

30.71428571

South Lanarkshire

709

592

117

16.50211566

Stirling

751

671

80

10.65246338

West Dunbartonshire

193

106

87

45.07772021

West Lothian

876

664

212

24.20091324

Scotland

46567

38013

8554

18.36923143

 
Holyrood’s Finance & Constitution Committee warns of strong evidence of a demographic risk to the size of Scottish budget
https://www.parliament.scot/newsandmediacentre/110146.aspx

 

[i] Prime Ministers Questions, House of Commons 5th September 2018, http://bit.ly/2HEMvUG

[ii] NRS statistics for 2016, as reported by Argyll and Bute Council, https://www.argyll-bute.gov.uk/info/nrs-2010-based-population-projections-argyll-and-bute

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