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  UK election manifestos...

The Labour party offers hope for Brits with Thai wives split apart by minimum income requirements for a marriage visa


Link Here 5th June 2017
UK VisaThe UK Labour  Party is behind in the polls but is catching up a little with some popular policy changes outlined in the party's manifesto.

One of these, may be of particular interest to Brits with a Thai connection. Labour would scrap the controversial income threshold that separates families and stops thousands of British citizens bringing their foreign husbands and wives to the UK.

The party's manifesto says it does not believe that family life should be protected only for the wealthy and that it would replace the threshold with an obligation to survive without recourse to public funds.

Immigration rules currently require British citizens to earn more than 18,600 before their foreign partner can join them on a spouse visa. Critics say the policy discriminates against working class people on lower incomes. The income threshold is even higher for couples with children who are not British citizens, rising to 22,400 for a couple with a first child and then an additional 2,400 for each additional child.

The rule was introduced by the 2010 Coalition government when Theresa May was Home Secretary. Britons have previously told The Independent that they have been forced to move abroad to be with their partners because of the new rule. In February the Supreme Court upheld the Government's policy after a legal challenge against it. Seven judges agreeing that the minimum income requirement was acceptable in principle -- though criticising the lack of safeguards for the welfare of children.

 

 Extract: Nanny State Index 2017...

Britain is the 2nd most miserable place in the EU after Finland


Link Here 11th May 2017

nanny state index 2017 The UK has seen a rising tide of lifestyle regulations in recent years. Its smoking ban, introduced in 2007, allows fewer exemptions than that of almost any other country and was extended to cars carrying passengers under the age of 18 in 2015 (2016 in Scotland). In 2008, Britain became the first EU country to mandate graphic warnings on cigarettes and cigarette vending machines were banned in 2011. A full retail display ban followed in 2015. In May 2016, the UK and France became the first European countries to ban branding on tobacco products ('plain packaging') in May 2016.

The UK has some particularly punitive sin taxes. It has the highest taxes on cigarettes and wine in the EU and the second highest taxes on beer. There are relatively few legal limits on where alcohol can be advertised but there are strict guidelines on content. Off trade alcohol discount deals such as buy-one-get-one-free are banned in Scotland.

Anti-smoking policies are now being rolled out to food and soft drinks. A ban on 'junk food' advertising to children was extended to digital media in December 2016 and a UK-wide tax on sugary drinks is expected to be implemented in 2018. There is a ban on sugary drinks in Scottish hospitals and both the Scottish and Welsh governments support minimum pricing for alcohol. Britain's Nanny State Index score for food and soft drinks arguably makes the country seem more liberal than it is because it does not include the food reformulation scheme which has led to chocolate bars shrinking and food products becoming less tasty as Public Health England pushes food manufacturers towards reducing sugar, salt and fat content. Although this scheme is technically voluntary, it is backed up with the threat of legislation.

 

  Deep profiling...

US immigration is beyond checking publicly available Facebook profiles, it is now considering demanding your passwords before granting a visa


Link Here 14th February 2017
facebook loginSecretary of Homeland Security John Kelly told Congress this week that the Department of Homeland Security is exploring the possibility of asking visa applicants not only for an accounting of what they do online, but for full access to their online accounts. In a hearing in the House of Representatives, Kelly said:

We want to say for instance, What sites do you visit? And give us your passwords. So that we can see what they do on the internet. And this might be a week, might be a month. They may wait some time for us to vet. If they don't want to give us that information then they don't come. We may look at their204we want to get on their social media with passwords. What do you do? What do you say? If they don't want to cooperate, then they don't come in.

TechCrunch' s Devin Coldewey pointed out, asking people to surrender passwords would raise "obvious" privacy and security problems. But beyond privacy and security, the proposed probing of online accounts204including social media and other communications platforms204would, if implemented, be a major threat to free expression.

 

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