Tory think tank says those earning less than £37k are not skilled

So three-quarters of UK taxpayers are unskilled then.

A report by the Centre for Social Justice think tank has claimed that those earning less than £36,700 are not skilled.

The report said that the minimum income threshold for immigrants should be increased from £30k to £36,700 as this was “a level commensurate to the status of skilled”.

About three-quarters of UK taxpayers earn less than £36,700.

The report’s lead author was an unsuccesful Tory party election candidate called Patrick Spencer.

Its recommendations were put together by a working group chaired by a former banker and Boris Johnson adviser called Gerard Lyons.

The working group also included the CSJ’s founder Iain Duncan Smith, the Tory mayor of Tees Valley Ben Houchen and several business owners.

The report appears to have been funded by Deutsche Bank and by a company owned by Vote Leave donor Jeremy Woolridge, whose family are worth £150m. They are both thanked in the report’s acknowledgements.

The minimum income threshold is the amount non-EU immigrants currently have to be able to earn to come to the UK.

The CSJ report says this threshold should be extended to EU citizens after Brexit and that it should be increased.

The report qualifies this by saying that the Home Office “consider constructing a list” of jobs which are strategically important to the UK. These should be exempt from the threshold.

The report’s proposals were criticised by business groups. Edwin Morgan, interim director general at the Institute of Directors, said:

“Skills gaps are already holding businesses back. The threshold is repeatedly raised by employers as a concern, and raising the bar even higher would put another spanner in the works for firms looking to grow.”

The government has not commented on the report’s recommendations.

Under the government’s proposed post-Brexit immigration system, those earning less than the minimum income threshold will be judged on whether they are from a country with a low or high risk of “immigration abuse”.

Those from countries with a high risk of “immigration abuse” – likely to be most of Africa and South Asia – will not be allowed to move to the UK.

Those from countries with a low risk of “immigration abuse” – likely to be most of Europe, North America and East Asia – can move to the UK. However, they will only be given a visa to work for one year at a time.

Like this article? Left Foot Forward relies on support from readers to sustain our progressive journalism. Can you become a supporter for £5 a month?

15 Responses to “Tory think tank says those earning less than £37k are not skilled”

  1. Tom Sacold

    This would make an excellent Labour Party policy to protect British workers from having their jobs taken by low-cost immigrants.

    There needs to be a high threshold.

  2. Tom Sacold

    Put the interests of British workers first !!!

  3. Kate

    Well until last year I did a highly skilled job in overseas trade, I had a professional qualification which allows me to call myself a graduate member of the Institute of Export (I had to pass exams for that), I had to know all about Customs regulations, shipping documentation and trade treaties amongst other things and also look after nearly 1 million pounds worth of duty and VAT payments monthly and make sure it was correct. For this I got paid not quite 30k a year. Mind you when I retired the chap who took over from me (without as much knowledge or experience) came in earning something like 40k so probably my lower wage was because I’m female…that discrimination against women that you just can’t prove when you are the only person in the company doing that particular job. In any case the requirement to earn 37k is just ridiculous.

  4. Jonathan Bagley

    “Not skilled” is an arbitrary definition which can mean what you want to achieve. If you want to force investment in technology, drive up wages for the lowest paid and stop UK population growth (currently 400 – 500 thousand a year), you define it as, “narrowly failed his brain surgeon exam.” If you regard the UK as an “economy” (where bigger is better and we all secretly want to emigrate to China or India), rather than a country, you define it as, “unable to fillet a fish or harvest asparagus.”

  5. 37 jobs this Tory think tank thinks are "unskilled" | Left Foot Forward

    […] the Centre for Social Justice (CSJ) declared that you should have to earn £36,700 a year to be considered skilled, we’ve looked into all the professions where the average wage is less than […]

  6. Patrick Newman

    How skilled is IDS – he is certainly paid (‘earn’ is debatable) more than £36,700 a year but would he pass a simple test he designed – to complete a full application for Universal Credit benefits – oh no! The one regret I have for ITV culling the Jeremy Kyle show is that there was a remote possibility that IDS might be dragged on it!

  7. Patrick Newman

    In negotiating trade agreements “Jonny foreigner” which will include the EU will tell the UK they won’t accept such a limit on their citizens wishing to settle in the UK and it will be dropped.

  8. Helen Blackburn

    I have over 30 years experience as a registered nurse. I’m also educated to Masters degree level, but this shower of Tory twits thinks I’m unskilled?

  9. Ralph Baxter

    Kate thats really interesting. barely 1 year out from retiring at the end of (the main plank) of your working and you negotiated and accepted pay of £30,000 at your annual review. A brand new person starts the role at £40,000. Nice to see skilled people like you willing and able to meet your life goals on average wages. I am sure you left the new guy in a position to drive the position and role forward other their 50 year tenure….

  10. Ralph Baxter

    8 years worth of inflation on 30,000 a year is about £7,000, so this this report argues that the rate today should be the same as just after the current government came in? I don’t see anything about that that merits any comment or argument.

    “The report qualifies this by saying that the Home Office “consider constructing a list” of jobs which are strategically important to the UK. These should be exempt from the threshold.” This does however… I read the current list 5 or 6 years ago. Back then it was 4 A4 pages of incrediably closely defined job titles. If this report is arguing that the list be a actual active tool guided by careful decisonmakers rather than a tick box exercise than I would support that

  11. Jen Williams

    The government is pleased to tell us that 43% of the working population pay no tax because they have raised the tax threshold to £12,500. 43% of the population have no chance, therefore, of being classed as skilled. IDS has just insulted most of the workers in this country. However, he’s used to doing that.

  12. Vince Clark

    The fact that many people are grossly underpaid (including long suffering nurses) does not make them unskilled, it makes them unappreciated by a government that has nothing but contempt for them. They have outsourced any skilled job they can to employee and human right abusing countries who an drive down wages in a race to the bottom.

  13. Sara Browne

    How skilled are people who work in the city? I’d like to see them attempt a nurse’s job or a teacher’s job, neither of whom earn £37k a year unless they’re at the very top of their profession. These arseholes should read this: “Wages High Skilled in the United Kingdom increased to 2330 GBP/Month in 2018 from 2110 GBP/Month in 2017. Wages High Skilled in the United Kingdom averaged 2267.50 GBP/Month from 2015 until 2018, reaching an all time high of 2460 GBP/Month in 2016 and a record low of 2110 GBP/Month in 2017.” https://tradingeconomics.com/united…/wages-high-skilled £2,330 a month means an annual salary of £27,960 BEFORE TAX.

  14. Claire

    I work for the local county council in Children’s Services and earn less than £32K at the top of my pay grade—

    Three years ago a door to door rep for a mobile phone provider told me he earned more than I do now as a basic before commission- shows our society’s priorities really.

    No hope dot com.

  15. Joe Bloggs

    Typical lefty libtard comments, totally missing the point…it’s artificially set high to stop one armed Romanian out of work brick layers entering the country and claiming benefits…it’s not as though a British citizen earning £26k is going to have to do anything…so remoaners just want to whinge about semantics, makes a change from anti Semitic lol

Leave a Reply