Plans to scrap the health surcharge for NHS and care workers have been welcomed by Daniel Zeichner MP. The sudden U-turn from Downing Street came the day after Sir Keir Starmer challenged the PM on the subject at PMQs.

The charge, which is a compulsory extra fee, levied on the majority of UK visa applications was first introduced in 2015. At the time it was set at £200 and was due to rise to £620 per person per year.

Mr Zeichner who has long spoken out about the unfair double tax said:

“It has always been inequitable that people from abroad should pay double tax. First in the bumper Immigration Health Surcharge and then again like everyone else through tax and National Insurance. I am delighted the Prime Minister was swayed by the force of Keir Starmer’s argument and has seen sense. How could it possibly be right to force the very people caring for us, to pay extra to use the NHS? But the charge will still apply to the partners and children of carers and Cambridge researchers who have come from around the world to work on research including into life saving vaccines. The success of our life sciences sector in places like Cambridge relies on our ability to attract and retain scientists, researchers and their families from around the world. If we make this more costly and more difficult, the outcome will be fewer people want to come. That would be be shooting ourselves in the foot.”

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