Gil Paterson MSP has highlighted the need for Scotland to control its own immigration policy after the country’s population hit a record 5.42 million. This means that Scotland has equalled the average European population growth which is good news according to the politician:
“Scotland’s population is artificially low by a considerable amount due to years of enforced emigration from the Highland Clearances onward. It’s great to see this vibrancy in the population, we need young workers in order to ensure that we keep opportunities here for future generations.
“The over 75’s are projected to be the fastest growing age-group in Scotland, increasing by 75% over the next 25 years. It is very welcome news that people are living longer and healthier lives but those people will become more likely to need health and social services as they get older. These services need young people to work in them and to generate the money to pay for them by paying taxes. We need to increase our population year on year to meet the demand and the fastest way to do that is through immigration.
“Scotland has its own distinct immigration needs different from other nations on these isles so we must have the ability to implement a distinct migration policy, our economic and cultural prosperity depends on it.
“We have already seen the effect that Brexit is having on our ability to attract workers to come here. Couple that with the scandal of the cruel and heartless Tory Windrush fiasco, recently reported cases like those of the Merry family and the UK no longer looks like a welcoming place for young migrants to live and work.
“So while it’s good to see this increase we need the power to do more.”