End ‘stealth tax’ of hospital parking charges, MPS urged
HOSPITAL car parking charges of up to £500 a week should be abolished, MPS heard yesterday.
Ex-tory minister Robert Halfon, who introduced a bill to end them, said the fees were “a stealth tax on the NHS”.
Half of trusts have raised fees despite ministers ordering a crackdown three years ago.
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt had urged NHS trusts to reduce charges – but new figures show that 47% hospitals in England in a survey charge more per hour than in 2014. Mr Halfon said patients and relatives were being forced to fork out up to £4 an hour, adding: “We cannot say the NHS is free at the point of access, paid for by general taxation if people with cars face extortionate and unfair parking fees.”
The Commons bill passed to a second reading, which will be heard in March next year.
CAMPAIGN Robert Halfon