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Birmingham MP Preet Kaur Gill discusses cost of remittance in Glasgow event

Birmingham Live, 20th July 2023

Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar, and shadow minister for international development, Preet Kaur Gill discussed cost of remittance

Shadow minister for international development and Edgbaston MP Preet Kaur Gill, and Scottish Labour leader, Anas Sarwar visited Gurdwara Singh Sabha and the Central Mosque in Glasgow.

On July 18 they met with local diaspora communities to celebrate their contribution to the fight against global poverty and hear about their experience of sending remittance payments to friends and family abroad. The event was part of the Labour listening event in the city.

Remittance payments are international transfers sent from households in the UK to support friends and families overseas. They are a key issue for many diaspora communities living in the UK.

The World Bank has estimated the value of these payments from the UK at $10.7 billion (£8.24 billion) in 2022. Yet recent evidence has shown that hidden fees lead to higher costs for families in the UK, adding further pressure to households already struggling with the cost of living crisis.

To understand the experiences of these families Labour is planning a series of listening events with diaspora groups. The findings from the events will go on to help shape Labour policy ahead of the next general election.

Speaking after the event, Preet Kaur Gill MP said: “Too often families face costly hidden fees when sending money overseas. Looking at ways to reduce the private costs of remittances is an opportunity to build on the incredible contribution of Britain’s diverse diaspora communities, increase the disposable income of families in the UK, and support our international development goals.

“UK diaspora communities are rooted in international development because they are doing it every day. That’s why I have come to Glasgow to hear directly from Scotland’s diverse communities about how the next Labour government can reduce the barriers and costs to cross-border payments and back their ambition for the UK’s role in the world.”

Anas Sarwar MSP said: “Scotland’s diverse diaspora and faith communities have always demonstrated their deep solidarity with poorer communities in the Global South. From the Make Poverty History movement which marched the streets of Edinburgh, to the stories I have heard from the communities at Glasgow Central Mosque and Singh Sabha Gurdwara today. "

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