Sunak urged to stop exodus of British talent abroad as calls for tax cuts grow

BBC Breakfast: Jeremy Hunt challenged over tax bill concerns

A new seven-point plan for immigration will heap pressure on Rishi Sunak and his Chancellor Jeremy Hunt to start to cut taxes.

The report by the Independent Business Network (IBN) chaired by former Brexit Party MEP and businessman John Longworth has warned that British talent is fleeing the country and needs to be encouraged to stay.

It comes as two major events today at the Conservative Party conference in Manchester will see leading figures demand that the Government stop increasing taxes and start cutting them.

Former Prime Minister Liz Truss will be joined by Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and Dame Priti Patel at a growth rally and then allies of Boris Johnson will join figures on the right of the party this afternoon for a “rally for the manifesto”.

The high taxes are seen as a major reason people are leaving the country and the new IBN report has highlighted that it is one of the urgent things which needs reform.

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In her speech today at the growth rally, Dame Priti will warn: “Doubt, bewilderment and defeatism has taken a firm grip over our politics.”

Reflecting a feeling that Britain is not offering opportunities, the IBN report notes: “Emigration has increased in recent years, although not at the same rate as immigration.

“We recommend that policymakers seek to redress emigration push factors, to retain English-speaking skilled talent in the UK. Reporting of emigration metrics should be improved to capture reasons for emigration.”

However, it also demands reforms to sort out the immigration of people coming into the country.

The issue is also set to be raised by Tory MPs from the New Conservatives and Common Sense Group at the rally for the manifesto.

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Mr Longworth’s IBN report demands that jobs be advertised in the UK first to take advantage of the British labour market rather than trying to recruit immediately from abroad.

The IBN also recommends that a “smart immigration system” focuses on bringing in skilled rather than low-cost unskilled labour.

It demands tougher action on people overstaying their visas and an overhaul of student visas to prevent families of students from having a right to access the UK.

The report suggests that migrants “without dependents” should be incentivised to maximise the benefit of bringing people into the UK.

However, to help small and medium-sized companies, they recommend temporary visas be extended to a duration of two months.

Mr Longworth, said: “Our review of migration is based on a thorough business assessment of the net costs and benefits to the British economy.

“We believe that while cultural issues are the preeminent issues debated around migration, the voice of business needs to be heard.

“Our report makes sensible suggestions on how the Government can attract the right sort of skilled migrant labour we need to boost productivity while at the same time tackling the burdens placed on the economy.

“We urge the Government to examine this report and implement its findings.”

IBN Chief Executive Brendan Chilton added: “The Independent Business Network has undertaken an economic review of migration.

“Skilled migration into the UK based on the needs of the British economy is essential for continued growth and prosperity and to support certain sectors.

“The Government should give priority to skilled English-speaking labour. But should also ensure that we do not increase the fiscal burden on an already strained exchequer.”

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