Have your say: How would Tories’ immigration plans affect your business?

Border control in Terminal Five of London's Heathrow Airport. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire.

Border control in Terminal Five of London's Heathrow Airport. Picture: Steve Parsons/PA Wire. - Credit: PA

Charges on firms employing migrant workers will be doubled under proposals unveiled today by the Conservatives.

The measure is among proposals from the Tories to reduce net migration to the 'tens of thousands', while migrant workers and international students face higher charges for their use of the NHS.

HAVE YOUR SAY: How will your business be affected by new levies?

The Conservative manifesto, being launched on Thursday, will argue that 'when immigration is too fast and too high, it is difficult to build a cohesive society' and that with annual net migration standing at 273,000, 'immigration to Britain is still too high'.

While freedom of movement is expected to end with Brexit, the manifesto also promises to 'bear down on immigration from outside the Europe Union' across all visa routes.

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That would mean the current £1,000 annual charge per employee, which is levied on employers that employ migrants in skilled areas, would be doubled to £2,000 by 2022 so 'we can invest more in workers in the UK', says the manifesto.

If implemented, the changes are likely to affect major East Anglian business sectors such as science, higher education, tech and high-end manufacturing and engineering.

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There will also be an increase in the immigration health surcharge, to £600 for migrant workers and £450 for international students, to cover their use of the NHS.

• We want to hear from businesses who may be affected by the changes. Will the doubled levies make you think twice about hiring skilled workers from overseas? Or will increased investment in UK skills be better for your business in the long run? Email mark.shields@archant.co.uk or call 01603 772426.

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