The chief executive of the Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants has said that the Home Office doubling the charge for migrants using the NHS is “double taxation” because many immigrants are also paying tax.
On Tuesday, the Home Office doubled the standard Immigration Health Surcharge (IHS) for migrants using the NHS to £400 a year.
Satbir Singh told talkRADIO’s Penny Smith: “We all want to make sure that the NHS has enough money, but it is the way that it is done. You pay the entire fee up front and it has just doubled.
“Most people who do move here will work and they will pay tax. So doubling this charge is a form of double taxation. People are going to be ending up paying for the NHS twice.”
'A drop in a bucket'
Mr Singh added that he was also concerned about the impact on families’ abilities to stay in the UK.
“The bit we worry about particularly is imagine if you have been here for two and a half years and you are about to renew your family visa,” he said.
“You have been putting a little bit of money aside every month to make sure that you have got the right amount of money to pay for it.
“Suddenly the fee has doubled and now you cannot afford your application. This is exactly the type of problem the Windrush generation faced when they could not afford the application and therefore, they lost their right to stay here even though they had it.
“I do not want to see people end up without paperwork. I also want to see the NHS have the money it deserves.
“I think the Government needs to get serious about funding the NHS because this is a drop in a bucket.”