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Curry Crisis needs Government Rethink says Lib Dem

August 26, 2008 11:00 PM

Chicken Tikka MasalaSpeaking at tonight's meeting organised by the British Curry Industry and Northampton Bangladeshi community held at the Tamarind Restaurant, Andrew Simpson, Liberal Democrat Parliamentary Candidate for Northampton North, has called on the Government to review the points system to make it easier for key workers like Curry Chefs to get work permits.

"The Government's immigration policy has to recognise the needs of British industry and the Curry Industry generates some £3.7 billion for the economy" said Andrew " The new points system and restricted English language test is working against Bangladeshi Curry Chefs who apply to work in the UK. This is wrong and is damaging a key British industry. The points system needs to be reviewed to recognise the shortage of skills in the UK"

The British Curry Industry says the industry is short by nearly 16,000 workers in particular skilled curry chefs.

The Government has published a new Immigration and Citizenship Bill in July. Liberal Democrats have been critical of the lack of consultation with both Parliament and British Industry over proposals.

"For a Curry Chef the need to pass an English test is less relevant than other professions and it should be acceptable that proof is provided that English will be learnt whilst here rather than passing a restricted test to get a permit".

Andrew used an example of the comedy sketch from the BBC series 'Goodness Gracious Me' about 'Going for an English' to emphasise how much 'Going for a Curry' is now part of British culture and should be promoted.

"Otherwise our great British Curry is in danger of becoming all too English" said Andrew