Scotland is Lib Dems' migration 'guinea pig'
By Kerry Gill
The Express (U.K.), May 5, 2010
The Liberal Democrats would use Scotland as a test bed for immigration policies, the Conservatives claimed last night.
A controversial points-based immigration system, as proposed by the Lib Dems, would be tried out in Scotland, it was admitted by a senior party figure.
Tom Brake, the party's home affairs spokesman, speaking on the BBC's Daily Politics programme, said: 'We would encourage new migrants to move where they are most needed. We would seek to trial this in Scotland.' Mr Brake's remark will remind Scots of the poll tax, popularly considered to have been foisted on Scotland by Margaret Thatcher to see how it would work before trying it south of the Border.
The Lib Dem manifesto, however, makes no mention of Scotland and says the party would 'introduce a regional points-based system to ensure that migrants can work only where they are needed'.
Last night, David McLetchie, the Scottish Conservatives' campaign manager, said: 'The Liberal Democrats want to use Scotland as a guinea pig for their irresponsible immigration policies without giving a thought for the pressure this will put on our public services.
'Does Tavish Scott know about this or, as with VAT on new homes, is it yet another Lib Dem policy of which he is blissfully unaware?' The Labour candidate for Glasgow South West, Ian Davidson, said: 'The Lib Dem plan on immigration was unfair to begin with, but this is even more unworkable.'