New tax planned for firms that hire workers from abroad instead on Brits

Plans to encourage SMEs to hire young Brits have been unveiled with a new tax on firms that rely on cheaper workers from abroad.

A new visa levy is being considered by Home Secretary Theresa May, which would be used to fund apprenticeships for young people from Britain and the rest of the EU.

The government say they want to impose a fee on firms that refuse to employ local people in order to deter them from hiring workers from across the globe.

Recent figures regarding migration showed that the number of EU nationals in work rose by 283,000 for the year January to March, higher than the 279,000 rise in UK nationals who had a job.

The plan emerged at the same time as the Queen’s Speech announced measures to control immigration, including reforms to the labour market rules to reduce the demand for skilled migrant labour and to crack down on the exploitation of low skilled workers.

The government said: ‘A consultation will be carried out on funding apprenticeship schemes for British and EU workers by implementing a new visa levy on businesses that use foreign labour.’

Other laws introduced by the Home Secretary will give authorities powers to seize wages from illegal migrants.

A new enforcement agency will be created in order to crack down on the worst cases of exploitation of workers.

It will also be made harder for illegal migrants to access services, with landlords given more powers to evict illegal tenants.

Banks will be forced to take action to close accounts held by illegal immigrants.