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    What is your stance on immigration and what would you guys do to control it?
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    (Original post by TopHat)


    We were indeed (and still are, in fact) threatened by a triple-dip recession. It's not even an exaggeration, never mind a lie.
    What it is is disingenuous scaremongering, if you want to get technical
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    (Original post by Thunder and Jazz)
    What it is is disingenuous scaremongering, if you want to get technical
    You say that now but like, we're kinda all secretly hoping we do have another dip into the bobbing barrel of recession so that we can fire George Osborne and enjoy the barbeque of his career. Aren't we?
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    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    You say that now but like, we're kinda all secretly hoping we do have another dip into the bobbing barrel of recession so that we can fire George Osborne and enjoy the barbeque of his career. Aren't we?
    Hah.
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    Apparently you guys have a 'Big Top', is this true? if so, my oh my how you guys have improved... hell I may even donate so you can have a right rager at the end of the election
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    (Original post by mynameisntbobk)
    What is your stance on immigration and what would you guys do to control it?
    We had 566,000 people enter the country in 2011, for a net balance of 215,000. Of those 566,000 entering, 232,000 were students. As a rule of thumb, we don't intend to do much about students. The UK is currently the second-largest tertiary education market in the world, and it's a really valuable market that provides a lot of money for U.K. universities and research facilities. Additionally, a very high proportion of students return to their home countries after their educational process has finished. Those who don't tend to be very highly skilled and add to the economy by entering job markets which aren't particularly competitive (engineers, doctors, and so on). There are some things we can do here - we could tighten up the list of Tier 4 Sponsors, which are institutions who can "sponsor" student visas. However, our main policy here would simply be to exclude student visas from the immigration figures, and only include them if they apply for more permanent visas. Including students just misleads the public about the state of immigration.

    The next 184,000 are work-related immigrants. These can be split into two categories - EU and non-EU. There's very little we can do about EU immigration because of the free movement agreed upon in the Treaty of Rome. There are three categories of non-EU immigrants; highly-skilled workers, skilled workers, and temporary workers. Highly-skilled workers are a category we do not want to shut out. Temporary workers receive only 6 month visas - as such, they're unlikely to contribute to long-standing problems. Skilled workers are those who have managed to gain a sponsorship from a company or are part of an intra-company transfer from an overseas branch. They require evidence of the fact they will receive earnings of more than £35,000 a year. This is well above the median wage and indicates they won't be competing in job markets which are already over-competitive. Again, we can tighten the sponsorship lists if necessary.

    The third category is dependents and spouses. This accounts for the rest, bar the small fraction of asylum speakers. Generally speaking, Labour supports the idea that you should be able to be with your loved ones and family, and there is already a minimum income requirement of £18,600 (which is in the top 60% of all two-couple households) to be able to sponsor a spouse. There is a small problem with sham marriages for visas which affects a small percentage of the immigration figures. We can tighten laws around sham marriages to help prevent this.

    With asylum seekers (under 6,000), the main problem is simply speed of processing. There are almost certainly ways to streamline what is a very arduous process.
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    (Original post by TopHat)
    We had 566,000 people enter the country in 2011, for a net balance of 215,000. Of those 566,000 entering, 232,000 were students. As a rule of thumb, we don't intend to do much about students. The UK is currently the second-largest tertiary education market in the world, and it's a really valuable market that provides a lot of money for U.K. universities and research facilities. Additionally, a very high proportion of students return to their home countries after their educational process has finished. Those who don't tend to be very highly skilled and add to the economy by entering job markets which aren't particularly competitive (engineers, doctors, and so on). There are some things we can do here - we could tighten up the list of Tier 4 Sponsors, which are institutions who can "sponsor" student visas. However, our main policy here would simply be to exclude student visas from the immigration figures, and only include them if they apply for more permanent visas. Including students just misleads the public about the state of immigration.

    The next 184,000 are work-related immigrants. These can be split into two categories - EU and non-EU. There's very little we can do about EU immigration because of the free movement agreed upon in the Treaty of Rome. There are three categories of non-EU immigrants; highly-skilled workers, skilled workers, and temporary workers. Highly-skilled workers are a category we do not want to shut out. Temporary workers receive only 6 month visas - as such, they're unlikely to contribute to long-standing problems. Skilled workers are those who have managed to gain a sponsorship from a company or are part of an intra-company transfer from an overseas branch. They require evidence of the fact they will receive earnings of more than £35,000 a year. This is well above the median wage and indicates they won't be competing in job markets which are already over-competitive. Again, we can tighten the sponsorship lists if necessary.

    The third category is dependents and spouses. This accounts for the rest, bar the small fraction of asylum speakers. Generally speaking, Labour supports the idea that you should be able to be with your loved ones and family, and there is already a minimum income requirement of £18,600 (which is in the top 60% of all two-couple households) to be able to sponsor a spouse. There is a small problem with sham marriages for visas which affects a small percentage of the immigration figures. We can tighten laws around sham marriages to help prevent this.

    With asylum seekers (under 6,000), the main problem is simply speed of processing. There are almost certainly ways to streamline what is a very arduous process.
    You say you don't want to shut out highly-skilled workers - but Tier 2 visas are capped at 21700 / year. Would you lift this cap, as your position suggests?

    Does Labour think that EU immigration has been detrimental overall? If we were not in the EU, what sort of restrictions would you consider placing on EU immigrants?
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    (Original post by Dapperatchik)
    You say you don't want to shut out highly-skilled workers - but Tier 2 visas are capped at 21700 / year. Would you lift this cap, as your position suggests?
    Highly-skilled is Tier 1 and is uncapped. Skilled is Tier 2. Additionally, intra-company transfers are not included in the cap, only new sponsors.

    Does Labour think that EU immigration has been detrimental overall? If we were not in the EU, what sort of restrictions would you consider placing on EU immigrants?
    We're actually at net balance immigration with the pre-2004 EU members, we get the same numbers in and out. As such, that definitely seems a positive thing given the flipside of their immigration here is we get to have immigration there, aiding people in both countries finding jobs and homes.

    There are a few specific EU countries which we are getting large amounts of positive net immigration from: the Czech Republic, Estonia, Hungary, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, Bulgaria and Romania. Some of these will be the same categories of highly-skilled workers, skilled workers, and temporary workers which, as above, we wouldn't be worried about. Some won't.

    The difference between the two is economic disparity. Most of the pre-2004 EU members are comparable in terms of GDP per person and educational level of the average worker, whereas the post-2004 group is dissimilar. These areas were perhaps not suited to being a free-trade area.

    However, given EU immigration is take it or leave it in terms of what we can or can't do, take it seems the better option. It's not perfect, but the labour market flexibility offered by the ability to move around the pre-2004 group is hugely useful for British citizens and worth the trade-off. In addition, just because the countries listed are not yet at the same level of integration, it'd be incredibly short-sighted to suggest that will always be the case. Many of them have been relatively unaffected by the recession compared to some of major pre-2004 group, and are set to undergo rapid economic growth thanks to EU integration. It may be in 15 years time, they'll be complaining about UK migrants!
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    Do you believe in the inalienable rights of human beings?

    Or do you see rights as simply being a privilege granted by the state?
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    (Original post by Keckers)
    Do you believe in the inalienable rights of human beings?

    Or do you see rights as simply being a privilege granted by the state?
    Human rights are something the party has no intention to take away and it would be wrong for a government to remove human rights, they are the rights of the humans and are, as you say, 'inalienable'.
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    (Original post by Keckers)
    Do you believe in the inalienable rights of human beings?

    Or do you see rights as simply being a privilege granted by the state?
    I do believe in the rights of human beings, yes. That isn't to say that the state can't curtail these rights depending on the action of the individual, such as people committing serious crimes having their right to liberty being removed by being placed in jail (at the same time jails should have a much heavier emphasis on rehabilitation, but that's another argument!). Of course, by having situations where you can remove one right in a certain circumstance does leave the door open for abuse of this power, as I'm sure you'll know, but I feel it is the job of the democratically elected lawmakers, accountable to the people, to use this power wisely and benevolently.

    So you could look at it as the state granting rights to people as long as they abide the rules, but I'd prefer not to look at it that way. I'd prefer to look at it as the state will not interfere in your rights if you do not interfere with the rights of others (thereby the state is acting as a protectorate of everyone's rights as a whole).
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Apparently you guys have a 'Big Top', is this true? if so, my oh my how you guys have improved... hell I may even donate so you can have a right rager at the end of the election
    Yep, the rumours are true: we do have a rather large "Big Top". Sure as hell beats a gazebo anyway! :smug:
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    (Original post by Mechie)
    Yep, the rumours are true: we do have a rather large "Big Top". Sure as hell beats a gazebo anyway! :smug:
    Yes much better, gazebo's are for the poor after all, nice to see Labour being more affluent
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    (Original post by tehFrance)
    Yes much better, gazebo's are for the poor after all, nice to see Labour being more affluent
    Pfft, gazebos, big tops, small tits. Just stand in the rain and take it like a Celt.
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    why is Things Can Only Get Better such a tune??
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    (Original post by Mechie)
    I do believe in the rights of human beings, yes. That isn't to say that the state can't curtail these rights depending on the action of the individual, such as people committing serious crimes having their right to liberty being removed by being placed in jail (at the same time jails should have a much heavier emphasis on rehabilitation, but that's another argument!). Of course, by having situations where you can remove one right in a certain circumstance does leave the door open for abuse of this power, as I'm sure you'll know, but I feel it is the job of the democratically elected lawmakers, accountable to the people, to use this power wisely and benevolently.

    So you could look at it as the state granting rights to people as long as they abide the rules, but I'd prefer not to look at it that way. I'd prefer to look at it as the state will not interfere in your rights if you do not interfere with the rights of others (thereby the state is acting as a protectorate of everyone's rights as a whole).
    (Original post by MattFletcher)
    Human rights are something the party has no intention to take away and it would be wrong for a government to remove human rights, they are the rights of the humans and are, as you say, 'inalienable'.
    Do you include the right of self ownership as an inalienable right? That an individual is his own sovereign being?
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    What are your stances on the National Curriculum? Do you think we should introduce compulsory subjects to it? (e.g. computer science, foreign languages) What are your views on apprenticeships and alternatives to university? Finally, what is your position on tuition fees?
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    (Original post by MattFletcher)
    We believe that the compulsory subjects we currently have are sufficient. However we may look into making either a foreign language OR humanities subject potentially compulsory in the future. We want to lower tuition fees, which are too high at present and also which is why some people who have the capability to go to university often turn aside and into apprenticeships. We would also encourage a wide range of companies to offer potential apprenticeships so there is a range for those who feel university isn't right for them.

    Posted from TSR Mobile
    This is Labour Party policy now? I really hope it isn't.
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    (Original post by Fool In The Rain)
    What are your stances on the National Curriculum? Do you think we should introduce compulsory subjects to it? (e.g. computer science, foreign languages) What are your views on apprenticeships and alternatives to university? Finally, what is your position on tuition fees?
    (Original post by obi_adorno_kenobi)
    This is Labour Party policy now? I really hope it isn't.
    We believe in a fairer Britain, so we want every student who has the intelligence and ability to go to university to go, tuition fees are too high . There are other alternatives but we want as many people who are able to go to university as possible. We would equip schools with Science equipment and computing systems because we want to give them the best education possible. I'm unaware of whether we would be making computer science compulsory at the moment.
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    (Original post by MattFletcher)
    x.
    Repeating yourself doesn't make my question any more straightforwardly dodged. We haven't sat down, as a party, and considered what our education policy for the forthcoming term is actually going to be. Vacuous statements, drawn from a New Labour primer, aren't that helpful. Tuition fees are too high? On what basis would that be? On the basis of the English system of pay after you leave? On the Welsh system of government subsidy? On the Scottish system? As I said to the Greens just the other day, lowering tuition fees without dealing with the hole you leave in university finances is folly and based solely on short-termist politics.

    Why exactly are we prioritising the provision of science and computing technology when in many schools it's the provision of books that's the problem? You can learn all the times tables you want, play about with burning magnesium all you want, but at some stage something of a person's education should be extolling the virtues of a humanistic understanding of the world: of engaging with art, history, philosophy, literature, and music. Humanity has an enormous legacy and equally enormous potential but to see education as only something which fulfills the requirements of the market - which is what this focus on science and computing is all about - is saddening and more than a little narrow minded.

    Why should computer science be compulsory? Is it necessary for everyone of school age to learn HTML? To learn the mathematical basis of modern computing? I think not. Instead, it seems perfectly reasonable to promote the use of computers as an additional tool in learning, which is what is currently done.
 
 
 
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