Ian Austin

Independent for Dudley North

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Austin calls for charges on wealthy migrants in London to benefit the Black Country

Dudley MP Ian Austin is calling for a new charge on highly-paid bankers and city traders coming from abroad to work in London to help areas like the Black Country deal with pressures immigration can cause.

He also demanded the government use £1 billion in unused EU funds to support public services and build more homes in areas like the Black Country.

Austin called for a new “migration levy” in a Commons debate over the government’s new Immigration Bill which he said would enable the costs and benefits of immigration to be shared equally across the country.

He argued that immigration affects different parts of Britain in different ways, with wealthy and well-paid professionals in London contributing more in taxes and requiring less support than immigrants in areas like the Black Country.

His proposal would see a charge introduced for wealthy migrants moving to work in well-paid jobs in areas like the City of London to help fund the extra housing, NHS staff and teachers needed to reduce pressure on public services immigration can cause in areas like the Black Country.

He also called on the government to claim unused EU Structural Funds worth nearly £1 billion last year to ease the pressure on public services and changes to EU free movement rules to protect workers’ wages.

The MP also set out his views on the government’s proposals, supporting plans to crack down on the exploitation of illegal workers and train British apprentices to reduce demand for skilled foreign workers.  However, he voiced concerns over a pilot scheme requiring landlords to check the immigration status of tenants that has resulted in British people refused housing because they have a foreign name or accent.

Austin has held a series of community meetings over the last two years to listen to his constituents’ views on immigration and the EU and has demanded that Ministers take action to tackle their concerns.

Ian Austin said:

“After listening to people in Dudley I promised to speak up for them in Parliament and push for a Labour Immigration Bill to address their concerns.

“I’m keeping that promise by backing sensible measures to tackle the illegal exploitation of foreign workers and train up British apprenticeships.

“But I want to see the government go further and introduce a migration levy so that the benefits of migration in some parts of the country help us deal with the pressures of immigration here in the Black Country.”

The full text of the speech can be found here.


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