I KNOW OF A CARE IMMIGRANT THAT HAS JUST PAID £1000 HEALTH SURCHARGE OR £400 A YEAR & ALL SHE CLAIMED WAS FOR THE PILL IN 5 YEARS MAKES THE GOVERNMENT PATEL A THIEF AND EXTORTIONIST CAPITALIST
Johnson forced to drop NHS surcharge for migrant health workers
Downing Street bows to pressure from opposition and backbench Tories amid crisis
Matt Hancock: NHS surcharge to be dropped for migrant health and care workers – video
Downing Street has bowed to concerted pressure from the opposition and Conservative backbenchers to scrap the NHS surcharge for migrant health workers.
After backbenchers including the former health secretary Jeremy Hunt criticised the government’s position, a No 10 spokesman said Boris Johnson had asked the Home Office and the Department for Health and Social Care to remove NHS and care workers from the scheme as soon as possible.
“Work by officials is now under way on how to implement the change and full details will be announced in the coming days,” the spokesman said.
The Labour leader, Sir Keir Starmer, raised the issue with Johnson at prime minister’s questions on Wednesday.
Among the leading voices calling for a U-turn on the policy was Hunt, who introduced the fee in 2015 during his time as health secretary. The now chair of the health select committee urged the government to change its mind just as No 10 announced it was dropping the surcharge.
Speaking to Nick Robinson on BBC Radio 4’s Political Thinking podcast, he said: “Given the sacrifices that we’ve seen during the coronavirus pandemic, low-paid frontline health and care workers need to be thought about differently, and I think one of the ways that we could do this is by looking at that surcharge, so I very much hope the government will do something.”
He said he had introduced the migrant health surcharge because the NHS is funded by taxpayers so it was fair to ask people coming from overseas to make an additional contribution.
Three influential Conservative Commons committee chairs also backed calls for the fee to be scrapped or waived, including William Wragg, chair of the public administration and constitutional affairs committee, Bob Neill, chair of the justice select committee, and Robert Halfon, the education committee chairman.
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The fee of £400, rising to £624 in October, applies to all people living in the UK from outside the European Economic Area. Doctors, nurses and paramedics are currently exempt from paying the charge for one year, but there was pressure for No 10 to make this permanent, and to include migrant health care workers.
Those now exempt will include all NHS workers, including porters and cleaners. It also includes independent health workers and social care workers.
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