Married, living and working in UK for over 10 years, so why must I pay to be British?

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My wife has lived in the UK for over 15 years she has a residency visa with NTL and has worked the whole time paying taxes like we all do, yet she needs a special card to work, isn't entitled to vote or to claim job seekers if out of work. 

Now if people come here are married and together for like 10 years and she's working and paying taxes then why is it she must take a test and pay £1600 to become British? 

Yet asylum seekers can come over and get benefits, houses. And become British straight away? 

And I'm disabled do you think I have £1600 pounds to help make my wife british No of course I don't things need to change this government will take there money but not let them become member of this country. 

We need to come together and get the government to relook at this policy and make it like the olden days where if you married X amount of years and working then you qualify for a British passport not this rubbish of paying them for it like some kind of above the table bribe so you can be British.