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Conservatives trying to throw Cumbria’s tourism industry under a bus with reckless Immigration Bill - MP

January 30, 2019 4:16 PM

Local MP Tim Farron has accused the Conservative Government of throwing tourism in the Lake District under the bus, as they seek to make it more difficult for the industry to attract workers from outside the UK.

During a debate on the Immigration Bill last night, Tim said the Government's proposal to stop people from getting a skilled work visa unless they find a job which pays at least £30,000 could potentially damage the hospitality industry in the county.

Speaking in the House of Commons, Tim said: "The hospitality and tourism industry in Cumbria employs more than 60,000 people. It contributes £3 billion the economy every year. Outside London, we ​are Britain's most popular tourist destination.

"About 10,000 of this vital industry's workers in Cumbria are from outside the UK. My constituency has low wages, and it is a disgrace that over 2,000 local children are living in poverty, but it has only 270 people registered as unemployed. There is no untapped pool of local labour waiting to fill the thousands of vacancies this Government will force on our industry.

"It does not take a genius to work out that if we stop people working in the UK if they are on less than 30 grand, if the average wage in tourism is nowhere near that and if the local workforce is not big enough, we will damage, if not destroy, that industry by imposing these restrictions."