Richard Lochhead

Moray SNP News



Local MSP Richard Lochhead has invited Scottish Government Public Finance and Migration Minister Ben Macpherson to Moray on Friday to attend a round table with local businesses and organisations to hear views on the UK Government’s immigration proposals following concerns that they pose a threat to the Moray economy.  

Business and public service leaders have spoken out against the proposals that will generally prevent anyone entering the UK that earns below the threshold for so called “low-skilled” workers of £25,600.

60% of jobs in Moray earn below this threshold and Moray also faces a demographic time bomb with a population ageing faster than the national average meaning that attracting workers to the region is a priority. 

Speaking ahead of the Minister’s visit,  Moray’s MSP said:

“I’ve invited Scotland’s Migration Minster to visit Moray and hear from local businesses and organisations about the implications for our local economy and public services of the UK’s Government new immigration policy so that the Scottish Government can raise this in their discussions with their UK counterparts. 

“Individuals from all over the world work in our public services, local factories, tourism and retails sectors and the idea that they will be stopped from entering the UK fills us with horror in Moray because we need to attract workers to come here and hopefully make Moray their home as so many thousands have already done in recent decades.

“The idea that workers can be labelled ‘low skilled’ just because they earn less than £25,600 and as a result shouldn’t be allowed into the UK is an insult and will deal a hammer blow to the Moray economy. 

“Sixty per cent of jobs in Moray fall under this threshold and also our population is ageing faster than the national average so we need to remain an attractive location for overseas workers who bring vital skills and work in many sectors ranging from tourism, retail, food and drink, and the construction sector to caring for us as part of our social services. 

“The UK’s excessively restrictive immigration policy is bad for Moray and I am sure the Minister will hear some strong messages that he can take away and bring to the attention of the UK Government.”