So my wife is paying twice then
If it was politically doable, I think Govt's would prefer to scrap the whole NI conts thing and just add it to taxation. Save a few bob on beaurocracy as well throughout the system.
So my wife is paying twice then
Exactly Greg it is about allowing only the rich to have freedom of movement and removing it from us ordinary folk.
Or perhaps you meant like Emily Thornberry and all the other rich labour luvvies?
I really can relate to the thinking here and was lucky in my day, that such a levy hadn't been introduced. But no-ones wife is really paying twice if they have to pay the NHS charge and then subsequently find work. Most people pay NI from the very first day they start work when young, new arrivals now pay a lump sum that goes some way to covering what the ordinary person has paid for all their working lives.
If there is a gripe about the system, it's that those doing things by the book, feel aggrieved when many that reach these shores illegally, can get things for gratis that others pay for. Again, in my time, it was to do with the provision of training in English, which I remember caused quite a bit of resentment.
Why should foreign migrants not contribute so that they can enjoy access to that fantastic benefit? Why should the British taxpayer subsidise a foreign national who chooses to settle in the UK? Why should that foreign national have immediate free access to the NHS without any contribution?
Tobias - โทเบียส
The new increase would have had more support if they had reduced the current visa fee's. The Tories have reacted to doctor's and nurses' leaders dismay at the new increase who have called for this immoral NHS surcharge to be scrapped completely. Boris Johnson has insisted the surcharge will go ahead for all foreign workers working in the NHS but pledged to cut visa fee's by halve to fast track and recruit more nurse's and health staff from abroad, they will also be exempt from paying the NHS surcharge upfront.
Tobias. Out of curiosity,when the Tory government announced plans to increase the surcharge from £200 to £400 the HMG claimed it cost £470 per person. If there has been no increase to that cost, is this new increase a bargain or rather punitive?
Private health insurance is fine for a single problem but wait and see how much the monthly fee rises after you've had that problem. If that same problem reappears the company will either rob you blind on premiums or refuse to cover you at all. That is without the "top ups" you have to pay when you need a procedure. BUPA charged me £67 a month until I needed my prostate checked. £90 extra for the anaesthetist and £200 extra for the biopsy. After everything was over, my premiums rose to over £160 a month.
Fortunately for me, my consultant also works in the NHS and I am now an NHS patient and no longer pay for BUPA. In the last 18 months I have needed an MRI and PSA tests a couple of times a year.
Within a week of my wife signing up with a doctor she had a letter inviting her for a smear test. Had to call an ambulance out for her one evening and she's needed various tests and Xrays since she has been here.
Her first FLR NHS surcharge was £200 a year, £400 a year for FLR2 and it is a bargain imho.
We've been on both sides of the fence. My wife first arrived in 2011 when there was no surcharge. She worked part-time for a few months before she became pregnant. Unfortunately she miscarried which was her first experience with our nhs. She initially attended A&E with a followup scan a few days later to confirm the miscarriage. She returned to work part-time paying NI but not earning enough to pay tax.
Within a year she was pregnant again and attended the usual NHS scans and checkups as well as one additional scan with a Thai interpreter. The doctor had insisted on this due to the potential for complications & she wanted my wife to fully understand what was going on. At the time I believe the thai lady interpreter told her she was being paid £100 an hr to attend plus travelling expenses. My wife gave birth in a private room and needed an overnight stay. Following the birth she was then received a years free dental treatment. Plus had several support visits from health visitors etc to check she was coping following the birth. All of this for free after I guess only a few months worth of NI payments.
She applied for FLRM again in 2013 again with no surcharge. When our son was maybe a year old she returned to work, mainly full-time paying tax & NI and has worked pretty much full-time eversince. In addition to her pregnancy she has used the NHS on various occasions for smear tests, contraception pills etc over the years since she has been here.
My wife then went on to make two further FLRM applications after the surcharge was introduced. I think we paid £200 in 2015 and then £400 in 2017. I grumbled as much as anyone at the introduction of the surcharge and also used the "paying twice" argument when I got wound up with her visa situation.
But, in reality I was being a hypocrite, given that my wife's contributions even now after a number of years paying tax and NI probably wouldn't even get close to the ££££'s it would have cost for her treatment & care she received during her pregnancy etc.
I'm just glad she's finally achieved ILR so it's no longer an issue for us
We were in a very similar situation toddmeister. First visa was no surcharge but both visas since have been £1000. I really dont think if it's increased to £600 per year it should be a problem. Private health insurance would be much more.
I always thought the payment was easily justified considering the cost of mrs giving birth and all other associated costs as mentioned by toddmeister.
I would much prefer this system than the one faced by the american couple or the couple in singapore here: https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/business-31052665
According to The Mirror:
1 Epidural injection: £1395
2 Ultrasound scans: £604
1 Midwife up to: £5000
1 Normal delivery (including 1 night stay): £3935
1 C Section (including 2 night stay): £6040
1 Pediatric consultant visit £250
1 10 minute trip to GP £45
Using The Mirrors figures, all in all for one normal birth it costs around £11,000.
Thats not including the several hours of translation some may have had or the health care worker home visits.
I doubt if I have even paid £11k in NI contributions yet
I did mention this a year ago or so that it would increase .
Its fine we get something from it .
BUT SHOULD INCLUDE EVERYONE EU NATIONALS AS WELL .
its our system .
But then again i have just watched my nephew claim income support for 12 months after finishing uni and never paid a pennie into the system how wrong is that if you have not paid you do not get .now he has a job after my elders of the family give him and my sister stick for it .
Its ok saying we need these x amount of EU nationals to keep our NHS going but they forget about the extra 10 million eu nationals that have moved here that need our services ,.
I think this thread highlights just what is wrong with the NHS surcharge.
1) It is not really a surcharge for the NHS but is part of an hotile environment to stop our wives being able to come to the UK by making it financially difficult.
2) The money does not go to the NHS their budgets have been decreasing in real terms if it has done anything it has assisted tax cuts to the rich
3) It is a small step on the road to getting us thinking of the NHS in the same way we would think of any other private health insurance provider. Instead of thinking that health care is a basic human right and that the way to judge a civilised society is on the basis of how they care for those ill and less fortunate than themselves.
4) It is not the amount we have to pay for the NHS surcharge that is the issue and whether or not it represents good value but the way that surcharge is another small step in undermining the very principles of the NHS that I object too.
Is it not the same as somone on low income and someone on a high income, they would have paid different amounts of tax but are treated the same by the NHS. These immigrants have jumped through hoops to be able to live here and become British citizens, surely they should be entitled to the benefits of that citizenship.
Perhaps someone would be kind enough to offer a reason why a foreign national who chooses to come and settle in the UK should not contribute to the provision of healthcare via the NHS?
Tobias - โทเบียส
If they are living and working here and married to a British citizen they will be contributing, the same as any of us are. Nobody is saying zero contribution (well I'm not), but considering the profit that is being made on settlement visas (I think 800% I saw quoted) it is beginning to feel like a business, do we want to live in a country run as a business. Sure, cover the costs of immigration but consider fairness too
My thanks go to all the rich people and higher rate tax payers that pay a large portion of their tax to mean that I, as a lower rate tax payer now, can still benefit from free services and the NHS that my taxes alone no longer cover. I don't have envy for you, I admire you and respect you.2) The money does not go to the NHS their budgets have been decreasing in real terms if it has done anything it has assisted tax cuts to the rich
I do wish that the NHS surcharge had to be paid by all foreigners settling here though and not just non-EU, that would be a much fairer system.