British Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, has announced that foreigners who temporarily move to the UK will have to pay an extra £400 a year towards health services to help fund the big rise in public sector wages.
Sunak disclosed this while explaining his approach about the pay deal with public workers during a press conference at 10, Downing Street, on Thursday.
The Prime Minister said that his decision to give a million public sector workers between five and seven per cent pay increases would not be funded by borrowing or raising taxes, as it would fuel inflation.
Sunak said instead of borrowing or raising taxes, a combination of higher fees for foreigners hoping to move to the UK and squeezes in existing government department budgets would cover the cost of pay rises for teachers, junior doctors, consultants, dentists, police, prison officers, senior civil servants and military personnel.
Sunak, however, declined to specify where those savings would be found in budgets.
Around £1 billion of the £2 billion extra funding needed to cover the pay rises in 2023 will come from increasing two fees paid by foreigners when they move to the UK.
The first increase will be on the “immigration health surcharge.” Most foreigners hoping to temporarily live in the UK for more than six months have to pay an annual fee to fund the NHS.
That figure has been £624 per year, but it will now rise to £1,035 a year – a 66 per cent increase. For foreign students living in the UK, the surcharge will rise from £470 to £776 — a 61 per cent increase.
Secondly, there will be increases in foreign visa fees.
“What we have done are two things to find this money.
“The first is we’re 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, which is the levy that they pay to access the NHS.
“So all of those fees are going to go up and that will raise over £1 billion,” the Prime Minister said.