Propel Morning Briefing

Tory migration policy must be more than just a tax on jobs or it will undermine investment, warns ALMR

The Association of Licensed Multiple Retailers (ALMR) has welcomed steps outlined in the newly published Conservative Party manifesto to reform business rates but warned any immigration system that included a tax on jobs would undermine businesses’ ability to invest by pushing up employment costs.

The Conservative Party has outlined plans to undertake long-term reform of business rates, including more frequent revaluations. The manifesto also pledges to increase the levy on skilled immigrants to £2,000 per person for non-EU workers in sectors found to be suffering a skills shortage.

ALMR chief executive Kate Nicholls said: “If businesses are to continue growing and investing in their employees, we need a migration policy that is more than just a tax on jobs. Increased fees for businesses looking to employ skilled workers from overseas could face significant cost increases and this could particularly affect those employers looking abroad for chefs. We need a migration system that works, that allows employers access to workers and is more than just the taxation of employment. Control of future immigration could be a problem for employers if the target is set prohibitively low, particularly as we are in a position of almost full employment in the UK. Additional costs for businesses will undermine their ability to invest, grow and provide jobs. It’s promising to see the Conservative Party mirror the other main parties and promise a review of business rates, particularly the more frequent revaluations the ALMR has pushed for, but this may be undermined if employment costs rise.”

Meanwhile, the Campaign for Real Ale responded to the manifesto by asking the Conservative Party to back a number of its pledges to support British pubs and beer, including permanent rates relief for pubs of £5,000 per year.


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