A LABOUR shadow minister has said her party agrees with a hike in the minimum salary threshold for overseas workers to bring their family members to the UK.

The UK Government announced a five-point plan last week to curb immigration which included hiking the minimum salary needed for skilled overseas workers from £26,200 to 38,700.

The minimum income for family visas has also risen to £38,700 to "ensure people only bring dependants whom they can support financially".

Quizzed about the policy by the BBC’s Laura Kuenssberg, shadow work and pensions secretary Liz Kendall did not say she disagreed with the level set by the Tories adding that her party had called for an increase to the previous limit of £18,600.

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She said: “As I’ve said, we have called for the salary threshold to be increased, we’d like the migration advisory committee to publish the evidence so we can see that in detail, but I think the hole at the heart of the migration plans from this government is that they have failed to deal with the skills in training shortages in this country.

“We need a plan for immigration that works for our economy so we can have a managed and controlled system.”

Asked again if she agreed with the level the Tory Government had set, she reiterated: “We have called for that [salary threshold] to increase.”

SNP MP and home affairs spokesperson Alison Thewliss said Labour signing up to the policy showed how “out of touch” the party was with Scotland’s needs, adding many of her constituents have been distressed by the “cruel” move.

She said: “This policy is both morally disgraceful and economically destructive - it shows more than ever that Westminster does not work for Scotland. 

“Labour signing up to this disastrous policy shows how out of touch with the needs of Scotland they truly are - these measures are the absolute last thing Scotland's economy and public services need. 

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“I’ve had constituents incredibly upset by what this will mean for them. Many are distressed by this cruel policy, which puts a price on their relationships and will keep families apart.

“Westminster's ideological obsession with cutting immigration is damaging Scotland.”

Thewliss added on Twitter/X the attitude Kendall had shown was "thoroughly depressing". 

Elsewhere in the plans, overseas care workers will not be able to bring family dependants, to end the "abuse of the health and care visa".

Home Secretary James Cleverly claimed 300,000 people who were eligible to come to the UK last year would not be able to in future with this plan in place.

Rishi Sunak also leapt to a desperate defence of the Government’s Rwanda plan last week as he said claiming asylum would be “blocked” for people who cross the Channel in small boats.

He insisted that Robert Jenrick, who quit as immigration minister over the plan claiming it “did not go far enough”, was wrong to say the bill wouldn’t work.

The UK’s highest court rejected the Government’s plan last month after judges found there was a real risk of deported refugees having their claims in the east African country wrongly assessed or being returned to their country of origin to face persecution.

Emergency legislation to force decision makers to consider Rwanda is a safe country will be debated by MPs on Tuesday.