Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Sale of visas

It's an old joke.

A man asks a woman if she would be willing to sleep with him if he pays her an exorbitant sum. She replies affirmatively. He then names a paltry amount and asks if she would still be willing to sleep with him for the revised fee. The woman is greatly offended and replies as follows:

She: What kind of woman do you think I am?

He: We’ve already established that. Now we’re just haggling over the price
.

In the middle of a speech yesterday full of high principle and some sensible proposals, Nick Clegg said:
I also want to see a more intelligent approach to the visas we give high value investors. At the moment they are asked to invest £1m in either a low-risk government bond or shares in a FTSE company and, providing they satisfy all of the other criteria, they are allowed to stay. That’s been the situation for decades, but it should now be changed to deliver better benefits for the British economy.

Admittedly, we do not sell citizenship as Malta does, but even so this sale of privileges has always worried me and merely raising the ante does not alter the principle. It will be interesting to see how Glasgow conference reacts to this and Nick's other policy proposals.

1 comment:

Frank H Little said...

This policy also adds to the over-heating of the London economy, which Osborne affects to deprecate. The high net worth individuals who benefit from the sale of residence rights gravitate to the capital, as this Guardian article shows.

Another contribution to the distortion would be an expansion of London Airport - but that's another story.