MP: Plans to cut services to immigrants 'disastrous'
Published by Max Salsbury for 24dash.com in Communities and also in Central Government, Health, Housing
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Sarah Teather has slammed plans to restrict services to migrants as "disastrous".
The government is currently consulting on plans to make some migrants pay for NHS treatment and to force landlords to check the immigration status of potential tenants ahead of an Immigration Bill to be introduced later this year.
But Teather, Liberal Democrat MP for Brent Central, has said that the proposals are unworkable and warned that they could have disastrous consequences for communities across the country.
Teather said: “I do not believe that it is right for landlords to be made to do the job of immigration officers and, instead of making the lives of rogue landlords harder, these plans will instead lead to more and more people being taken advantage of.
“While ministers seem to suggest that checking someone’s immigration status is easy, in reality our immigration system is incredibly complex and people who have the right to be in the country can have various types of documents. To expect landlords, most of whom are private individuals who rent out one or two properties, to get to grips with all these documents is completely unrealistic.
“I am extremely concerned that landlords will, in trying to comply with the new rules, simply choose to rent to those people whose immigration status is straightforward. As a result, anyone who happens to look or sound a bit foreign could find it increasingly hard to find accommodation and will be forced into overcrowded and unsanitary housing.”
The Royal College of GPs and the Residential Landlords Association have also criticised the proposals.