Westmorland and Lonsdale Liberal Democrat MP Tim Farron has criticised the Westminster government’s upcoming change to the country’s visa system.

Reacting to today’s announcement from the Government that people from outside of the UK will only be able to work in the Lake District hospitality industry if they earn at least £25,600 a year, local MP Tim Farron said:

“The Conservative Government have today unleashed a wrecking ball to the Lake District hospitality industry.

“Of course we want to see higher wages, but going from average wages of £17,000 to having a minimum salary of £25,600 takes economic illiteracy to a new level.

“There are currently more than 20,000 non-UK staff working in the Lakes but only 200 people unemployed locally. It doesn’t take a genius to work out the devastating impact this will have on Britain’s second biggest tourist destination and our economy here in Cumbria – but the Conservatives simply don’t care.”

The “Australian style” system set to come in force over the next few months has received criticism from several corners in the United Kingdom including the Scottish Executive, which said the system was “not fit for purpose,” and would damage their economy, as well.