Priti Patel insists her Immigration Bill will not adversely affect NHS and care workers

20 May 2020, 10:12 | Updated: 20 May 2020, 10:16

By Adrian Sherling

The Home Secretary has rejected suggestions a points-based immigration system will adversely affect NHS and care workers.

Priti Patel introduced the Immigration Bill to parliament this week.

Critics have expressed concerns essential workers praised during the coronavirus pandemic - NHS workers, cleaners and shelf stackers - will be alienated by the plans.

Speaking to Nick Ferrari, Ms Patel insisted it's about creating a level-playing field.

She said: "When you look at our NHS, the majority of people working in it are British citizens, followed by doctors and nurses from the sub-continent, India and Pakistan.

Priti Patel spoke exclusively to Nick Ferrari on LBC
Priti Patel spoke exclusively to Nick Ferrari on LBC. Picture: LBC

"We are talking about creating a level playing field, fairness and equality in terms of people who want to work in the UK, who can come to the UK to work.

"This is not about salaries. If you have a skill, we are going to have the right labour market test that says if sectors need individuals of a particular skill to come to our country, they can come to our country. The salary threshold is not the end determinator to our bill.

"We are ending the discriminating that has dominated this country for decades where we discriminate against the rest of the world.

"We want to be open to the world, but we want to be equal in our treatment of people in why they come to this country and how they come to this country."

Nick questioned whether someone's salary should be a sign of their value, but Ms Patel insisted: "It's not about a salary guide, it's about skills.

“The points-based skills system is about people who have the skills that they can contribute to support our recovery post-Covid."

Watch the clip at the top of the page, or see her full LBC interview below.