Cumbrian MP Tim Farron has described the Government’s new visa rules as a ‘hammer blow’ to local businesses in the county’s hospitality sector.
Under the proposed plans announced today, the minimum salary needed to get a skilled worker visa will rise from £26,200 to £38,700 next year.
Speaking during a statement in the House of Commons this afternoon, Tim said: “These proposals or some of them at least will be met with absolute horror in the Lake District hospitality and tourism industry.
“20 million people visit our communities every year, three and a half billion pound industry and because of the failure of this government to provide sufficient, affordable homes for local people and to have stupid visa rules, we now have a massive workforce crisis.
“Two thirds of our businesses are unable to meet the demand that they have because of inadequate numbers of workers.
“Has he spoken to anybody working and managing in the in the Lakes hospitality industry or does he not care what they think?"
Responding, Home Secretary James Cleverly said: "Madam Deputy Speaker, my right honourable friend the Immigration Minister met with the Lake District Tourist Board.
"So in specific answer to his question. Yes, he has spoken to them.
“And the point is and the simple truth of the matter is we have analysed the figures, we know which sectors have brought in the most people, the hospitality sector is an incredibly important sector in the UK, a fantastic employer of local people.
“That's what we want to see in that sector.”
Speaking afterwards, Tim said: “If the Immigration Minister has spoken to our hospitality industry then he clearly wasn’t listening!
“These rules will serve as a hammer blow to local businesses who are already struggling to recruit the staff they need to operate.”