UKHospitality has today called for the abolition of a charge for current EU citizens to claim settled status after the UK leaves the European Union. Under current proposals adults will be charged £65 per person to claim Settled Status, while their dependants will be charged £32.50. For a family of two adults and two children, this amounts to £195.
UKHospitality argues that such a move could prove beneficial to Brexit negotiations as other EU member states would see this as a signal of goodwill. It could also lead to benefits for UK citizens within the EU, who are likely to face reciprocal fees in the country they wish to live in.
Commenting, Kate Nicholls, UKHospitality CEO, said: “The hospitality sector hugely values its EU workforce, as it does its entire workforce. They have contributed significantly to the growth of the sector and the UK economy. This view has been shared by the Government, the trade unions, all employers and the vast majority of EU citizens.
“Waiving the charge for Settled Status would be a fantastic gesture from Government to demonstrate that Britain is positive about those who choose to stay in this country. At a time of near-full employment in the country any exodus of EU citizens could be highly damaging for business and the economy.
“A number of employers have offered to pay the charge on behalf of their EU employees, at considerable cost. However, many more are unable to meet the cost. Furthermore, where the employer does meet the expense, the Government is insisting that this is a taxable benefit, leading to an extra payment through income tax. It could also turn into a bureaucratic nightmare for Government, business and citizens.
“It is also worth noting that EU citizens did not vote for Brexit, and most would not have expected a charge when they moved to make the UK their homes and their workplaces.”
UKHospitality has also welcomed today’s publication by British Future on the future relationship between Government and UK citizens.