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NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz said, to impose a new "immigrant tax" on foreigners- might discriminatory


London, Feb. 21, 2008
Satnam Bhalla

UK Government is planning to impose a new "immigrant tax" on foreigners coming to the country to help pay for the public services they use such as the schools and hospitals. Govt. hope to generate an extra £15 million a year but they need £250 million more annually to avoid increased council tax. The plans which include a 'points system' for those seeking British citizenship.

The immigrant numbers have risen in recent years, particularly from eastern Europe. The additional tax could be set at 10 per cent of the visa fee, an additional £20 for the usual £200 visa granted to those wishing to stay in Britain longer than six months. The children and older applicants who are likely to need more health care will pay more than young and skilled workers.

In 2006-2007, the UK Visas agency raised £190 million from visa fees from 2.7 million applications.

The immigration minister said "It is fair that those who benefit most from using our immigration system should help fund it. We welcome the contribution that legal migrants make to the economy and cultural life in the UK and we have ensured that these fees, which will usher in the biggest reforms to the immigration system in a generation, are at levels that will not damage our international competitiveness."

NRI Labour MP Keith Vaz said:

  • The government's decision to impose a new "immigrant tax" on foreigners coming to the country might be construed as discriminatory.
  • I am concerned that some may view the move to charge some migrants more as a double taxation, and it may be viewed as discriminatory. There may be confusion about how they should do so called good works.
  • Supporting the principle of earned citizenship,we have excellent race relations in Britain and this government has done much to encourage this.
  • We must work hard not to alienate communities and clearly explain what this paper would mean to them

Migrants are more skilled and often more reliable and hardworking than British workers, and are fuelling the country's economic growth to the tune of £6bn a year, according to the first official study of their impact published yesterday.