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UK set to increase fees for migrants' visa applications, health services

UK set to increase fees for migrants' visa applications, health services
Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak speaks at a press ...   -  
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Henry Nicholls/AFP or licensors

United Kingdom

British Government to Increase Fees for Migrants' Visa Applications and National Health Services to Support Public Sector Pay Rises.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has revealed the government's plan to raise fees for migrants' visa applications and the immigration health surcharge.

The increased charges aim to generate substantial funds for financing pay rises in the public sector.

During a press conference in London, Prime Minister Sunak stated, "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."

According to local news reports, the PM further mentioned the immigration health surcharge, which migrants pay to access the National Health Service (NHS). The adjustments to these fees are expected to generate over a billion pounds in revenue.

In conjunction with this measure, Prime Minister Sunak called upon unions to suspend ongoing and planned industrial actions, asserting that he had reached a "fair deal" for workers.

In a tweet, he expressed his thoughts, stating, "I just announced a fair way to end the strikes – and already all teaching unions are backing it. It's a fair deal for workers. And a fair deal for the British taxpayer. This is a major breakthrough for parents and families across the country."

The proposed deal entails pay increases for various sectors. Police officers are set to receive a 7% rise in the 2023-24 period, while teachers, senior NHS staff, and junior doctors will experience pay hikes of 6.5%, 6%, and 6% respectively, along with additional one-off payments.

Armed forces personnel will see a 5% increase in their salaries, also accompanied by a one-off payment.

The country's current inflation rate stands at 8.7%, surpassing the Bank of England's 2% target. In light of this, the Prime Minister emphasized the finality of the offer, stating, "Today's offer is final. There will be no more talks on pay.

We will not negotiate again on this year's settlements, and no amount of strikes will change our decision." He expressed confidence that the momentum across public services is shifting and that the majority of individuals who are committed to serving others are returning to work.

Reports from unions, universities, and think tanks indicate that the UK government has faced significant walkouts across almost all sectors due to the impact of the Ukraine war, Brexit, and a rising cost-of-living crisis.

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