Students, workers on Labour’s chopping block


Students and low-skilled workers will be in the firing line when Labour reveals its immigration policy.
More than 20,000 people a year can likely expect to kiss their visa chances goodbye under a policy to be announced by party leader Andrew Little in Auckland today.
He has been spruiking the plan for months but keeping most of the details under wraps.
As far as numbers “tens of thousands” are set to be on the chopping block with the actual figure expected to lie somewhere between 20,000 and 30,000.
Currently there are 70,000 more people a year coming to New Zealand than leaving.
Migrant workers doing jobs that could be filled by unemployed New Zealanders and students pursuing “low quality” degrees are those already known to be facing a reduced chance of a visa.
Labourers are one group Mr Little has mentioned, but that has raised questions about how the party would progress its Kiwi Build house building project with less workers.
Prime Minister Bill English told TVNZ that cutting immigration could choke growth.
“We’ve got a growing economy, we need people to do the work,” he said.
The government revealed its plan to tackle immigration in April, announcing new remuneration bands for work visa applicants and altering the definition of highly skilled workers.
Work rights for partners of skilled migrants will also be tightened.

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