The irony of the Immigration Health Surcharge

All applicants are subject to the Immigration Health Surcharge (£200 per year).

The government has made an announcement that it intends to double the HIS to £400 per year. Earlier this year, health minister James O’Shaughnessy said

‘Our NHS is always there when you need it, paid for by British taxpayers. We welcome long-term migrants using the NHS, but it is only right that they make a fair contribution to its long-term sustainability’

Which does not make clear sense, because the NHS is paid for by all taxpayers, not just British ones. Unless of course the minister is trying to suggest that migrants are not taxed. This of course is not true and would create a headache for Her Majesty’s Revenue and Customs if it were indeed the case. Furthermore, there is very little evidence of “health tourism” (the implicit justification for the fee) and is just as likely to be British expatriates as migrants.