Shadow home secretary Alan Johnson said a temporary cap on economic migrants was a con trick. He said it would affect about one in seven immigrants and there were already restrictions on firms recruiting workers from outside the EU under the points-based system introduced by the previous Labour government.
Mr Johnson told BBC News: “You wonder what is the point of this, given that in this country at the moment, under our policy, if a company wants to bring a skilled worker in, they can do it if they have advertised that job for four weeks in Job Centre Plus and they are absolutely sure they can’t get a British worker to do it.
“So it’s absolutely pointless. At best it’s a gesture. At worst it’s a deceit.”