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Monday, March 6, 2023

Brexit-backing Next boss says UK needs more overseas workers

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The chief executive of High Street chain Next is urging the government to let more overseas workers into the UK to alleviate chronic labour shortages.

Lord Wolfson, who was a prominent advocate of Brexit, said the UK’s current immigration policy was crippling economic growth.

More for overseas workers:

He said firms should pay a tax to employ foreign workers, to encourage them to recruit from the UK first.

Lord Wolfson, a Conservative peer, told the BBC that the government needed to decide whether the UK was an open free trading nation, “we have to take a different approach to economically productive migration.”

He suggested a market-based solution to fix current labour shortages, which have affected sectors including healthcare, hospitality and logistics.

He suggests that businesses who need foreign workers should be able to pay a tax of 10% to the government on foreign workers’ salaries to ensure that only the businesses that really couldn’t find UK workers would recruit overseas.

“It would automatically mean that businesses never bought someone into the company from outside if they could find someone in the UK,” he said. “But if they genuinely can’t, they’ll pay the premium.”

Let people in who can contribute,” Lord Wolfson said.

BBC News 10th November

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