Charities, unions and politicians say ‘divisive’ policy will damage UK economy by squeezing workers from overseas

The government’s plan to fund a public sector pay rise by hiking the fees charged to migrants for visa applications and NHS access has been described as “deeply unfair” and “deliberately divisive” by charities, unions and politicians.

Unison, which represents 1.3 million public service workers, warned that the increases would “push more people into poverty”, while the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants accused the government of a “blatant attempt to pit worker against worker and divide our communities”.

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