Labour’s Alexandra Bulat has slammed environment secretary George Eustice for his language and attitude when speaking to the nation about tackling UK’s staff shortages.
Eustice announced earlier this week that up to 800 pig butchers will be able to come to Britain for six months to help with labour shortages.
Speaking to Sky News, The Tory minister said: “What we are going to do is allow butchers in abattoirs and meat processors dealing with pigs, to be able to come in on a temporary basis under the Seasonal Workers Scheme for up to six months.
“That will help us to deal with the backlogs of pigs that we currently have on farms, give those meat processors the ability to slaughter more pigs and, crucially as well, we’re going to make available what’s called ‘private storage aid’ to help those abattoirs to temporarily store that meat in order to help clear this backlog.”
Dr Bulat’s response
But Dr Bulat said in response: “This is one of the reasons why we have staff shortages. The attitude this Government has towards migrants.
“Speaking about us as mere commodities ‘allowed’ to come ‘temporarily’ (translation: with fewer rights).
“We are more than a narrow and temporary financial contribution.”
Grant Shapps on EU citizens’ English skills
Meanwhile, the transport secretary avoided saying why the level of English a EU citizen has is important to come to the UK and be a butcher by saying Britain “voted to take control” – and ignored the subsequent question regarding “how that is going”.
Speaking to Sky News presenter Kay Burley, Grant Shapps argued “cheaper labour” stops companies from automating British jobs, whilst insisting the government wants “people domestically” to do those jobs.
Burley said: “It looks as though Brits don’t want to cut up pigs for the public to eat and we’ve got Europeans who will come and do that, they might not just have as good English as somebody in Wallsend. Why is that a problem?”
Shapps replied: “This country voted to take control of its own borders and that’s what we are making sure happens.”
“How is that going for you?,” Burley reacted.
‘Very globally open’
Shapps continued by saying the UK wants “the best and most skilled people around the world” and insisted Britain is “very globally open”.
He added: “And with the regular visa test, one of the requirements is that people come in with the skills but also the language abilities in order to take up those visas.
“We want people domestically to be able to do those jobs and of course the cheaper labour coming in over many years stops organisations from investing in technology automating the way that we do things.”