For workers to get pay raise, UK will hike visa fees for Nigerians, others
The UK government expects the increment will raise over one billion pounds in revenue.
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak said at a Downing Street media briefing on Thursday, July 13, 2023 his government's budget is inadequate to meet the recommendations for the increase.
He also noted he's not keen on increasing taxes, and it would be irresponsible to think about additional borrowings as it could worsen inflation rates.
The 43-year-old said the best approach to meet the wage demands depends on two key revenue strategies, and both will greatly impact migrants.
"We're going to increase the charges we have for migrants coming to this country when they apply for visas, and indeed something called the immigration health surcharge which is the levy they pay to access the NHS. All those fees are going to go up," he said.
Sunak said it's appropriate for the fees to go up because they haven't been increased recently, despite that the costs of everything else have gone up. His government expects the increments will raise over one billion pounds to help pay for the public sector wage increase.
The UK is one of the top migration destinations for Nigerians leaving the country in search of greener pastures. A report by SBM Intelligence last year noted that Nigerian students and their dependents alone spent an estimated £41.7 million on visa fees to the European country in 2021.
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