TORY PROPOSALS NEED TO GO ‘BACK TO THE DRAWING BOARD’
SNP MP and member of the Scottish Affairs Committee Margaret Ferrier has said the closure of Job Centre Plus offices around Scotland is ‘completely incoherent’ – and ‘need to go back to the drawing board’ urgently.
The comments come as the cross party Westminster Committee publishes its report into the Tory plans to axe a long list of office locations – including a total of eight in the Glasgow area – causing needless uncertainty for staff and for service users.
SNP MPs have raised the issues at Westminster on many occasions and it has become abundantly clear that the Tories have completely failed to make any kind of plans and demonstrate a complete lack of any kind of strategic thinking.
Margaret Ferrier MP commented:
“These Tory plans are rightly condemned by the committee for what they are – completely incoherent and inadequate. The government needs to go back to the drawing board urgently.
“The Tories present this as some kind of well thought out, planned programme long-term planning but we have found that it is anything but – and is more of an opportunistic cost cutting exercise.
“Our report also find that the treatment of staff and service users fell short of what should be expected. This scattergun and ill thought through plan will disrupt so many people who depend on the centres for help and advice on getting into work.
“Jobcentre Plus offices are there to serve their communities, when people are often at their most vulnerable, these proposals will fail to do this adequately. The UK Government must look at this policy again and come back with a coherent solution that works for the people who use the service, as well as being value for money.”
Link to the Scottish Affairs Committee report
The majority of people in Scotland recognise the benefits of international students with 83 per cent agreeing they should be able to work in the UK for a fixed period of time after they have graduated, rather than return immediately to their home country after completing their studies.
The polling conducted by ComRes on behalf of Universities UK demonstrates strong support among the general public for international students and piles pressure on Theresa May to stop including them in immigration figures.
The polling found:
- In relation to the UK government’s immigration policy, only 27% of adults in Scotland think of international students as immigrants
- 71% of adults in Scotland think international students have a positive impact on the local economies of the towns and cities in which they study
- 67% of adults in Scotland agree that this economic contribution helps to create jobs
- 70% of adults in Scotland think that international students have a valuable social and cultural impact on the towns and cities in which they live
- 83% of adults in Scotland agree that international students should be able to work in the UK for a fixed period of time after they have graduated, rather than immediately return to their home country after completing their study
A report last year by the Scottish Affairs Committee found an “overwhelming consensus” among Scotland’s academic and business communities for a post study work visa for Scotland.
Commenting, Margaret Ferrier MP, a member of the Scottish Affairs Committee said:
“The SNP have repeatedly called for the reintroduction of the post study work visa, which allowed international students to remain in Scotland and work after graduation. The call has been backed by businesses, colleges and universities, and has cross party support in the Scottish Parliament amongst every political party represented in Holyrood.
“Scotland has been challenged by the UK Government to grow its population and use what is available within its powers to develop our working age population. A post study work scheme is an easy and convenient way for Westminster to assist with this without any cost to itself.
“The message is clear: allow us to keep some of the international students that we educate to such a high standard and invite them to help us grow our economy. Westminster can’t have it both ways –if it is up to us to grow our population then Scotland should control the means to do just that.”
New ComRes poll: majority of British public would like to see the same number or more international students