Government Abandons High Earning Threshold for Family Visas
The UK Government has reversed its decision to drastically raise the earning threshold required for Britons to bring foreign family members into the country.
Initially proposed by Home Secretary James Cleverly to elevate the threshold from £18,600 to £38,700, this plan faced criticism and uncertainty among affected families.
Revised Plans and New Threshold Details
Recent documents released by the Home Office reveal a change in the projected earning threshold.
Instead of the earlier proposed £38,700, the threshold will now be raised to £29,000 in the upcoming spring. However, the timeline for implementing the higher threshold remains unspecified.
Reasoning Behind the Threshold Adjustments
Lord Sharpe of Epsom, a Home Office minister, explained the rationale behind the changes.
He highlighted that the current threshold of £18,600 enables 75% of the UK working population to sponsor their foreign family members.
Raising the threshold to £38,700 would have reduced this right to only 30% of the working population.
Incremental Increases and Lack of Specific Dates
The minister outlined a phased approach to the threshold adjustment, intending to progress from £29,000 (25th percentile) to £34,500 (40th percentile) and eventually to the current general skilled worker threshold of £38,700 (50th percentile).
However, specific dates for the subsequent increments beyond £29,000 were not disclosed in Lord Sharpe’s statement or the Home Office document.
Prime Minister’s Mention of Transitional Arrangements
Previously, the Prime Minister had mentioned considering ‘transitional arrangements’ for these threshold changes to ensure fairness.
The Liberal Democrats criticized the initially proposed £38,700 threshold, branding it ‘unworkable’ and attributing it to attempts to appease certain hardline factions within the government.
Calls for Transparency and Expert Consultation
Amidst these developments, calls have emerged for increased transparency regarding the decision-making process.
The Liberal Democrats’ home affairs spokesman, Alistair Carmichael, urged for the involvement of experts in policy formation and requested the publication of advice from the Treasury and the Office for Budget Responsibility regarding the economic impact of these changes.
This article sheds light on the UK Government’s retraction of the significantly higher earning threshold for family visas, offering insights into the revised plans and the concerns raised by opposition parties regarding the decision-making process.Share on Facebook «||» Share on Twitter «||» Share on Reddit «||» Share on LinkedIn