United Kingdom  Announces Increase In Visa Fees, Health Surcharge For Migrants

UK PM Rishi Sunak

LAGOS JULY 14TH (NEWSRANGERS) Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has announced that the fees and health surcharge paid by visa applicants, including Indians, towards the UK’s National Health Service (NHS), which is funded by the state, will significantly rise. This increase aims to meet the country’s public sector wage increase.

Sunak confirmed a hike of 5 to 7 percent across various public sectors, such as for teachers, police, and junior doctors. However, he emphasised that the government would not borrow more money or increase taxes to fund these raises due to concerns about inflation.

“If we’re going to prioritise paying public sector workers more, that money has to come from somewhere else because I’m not prepared to put up people’s taxes and I don’t think it would be responsible or right to borrow more because that would just make inflation worse,” Sunak told reporters at a Downing Street press conference.

“So, what we have done are two things to find this money. The first is, we are going to increase the charges that we have for migrants who are coming to this country when they apply for visas and indeed something called the Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS), which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS,” he said.

“All of those fees are going to go up and that will raise over GBP 1 billion, so across the board visa application fees are going to go up significantly and similarly for the IHS.”

Govt departments to reprioritise spending

As a second measure to cover the higher wage bill, government departments will be asked to reprioritise their spending. This does not entail job cuts or reductions in services but rather a shift in focus towards different priorities, Sunk said.

The Conservative party government led by Rishi Sunak has faced significant pressure and disputes over public sector pay, resulting in strikes across schools and hospitals.

Junior doctors in England, for instance, initiated a five-day strike on Thursday after their demand for a 35 per cent pay increase was rejected.

Wion News

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Posted by on Jul 14 2023. Filed under International, National. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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