Labour plans new ‘health tax’ to hit patients driving to hospital on top of the high car parking fees they already pay
- Shadow health secretary wants the new ‘health tax’ without telling patients
- The driving charge would be imposed on top of carpark prices at NHS hospitals
- Tory MP says it would ‘hit sick patients when they are at their most vulnerable’
- Tax Payers Alliance says the expectation for patients is ‘callous beyond belief’
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth wants to impose ‘health tax’ on people driving to hospital in a bid to introduce clean air zones around NHS buildings
Patients who drive to hospital will be forced to pay a ‘health tax’ in a bid by Labour to introduce clean air zones around NHS buildings.
Shadow health secretary Jonathan Ashworth wants to create the new zones without consulting hospital patients.
And this would be imposed on top of parking charges where some drivers can pay up to £12.50 a day in London.
Tory MP Ben Bradley told The Sun: ‘This is an underhand attempt by Labour to impose even more taxes on the general public, and would hit sick patients and their relatives when they are at their most vulnerable.’
He claimed the government is ‘already leading the way in tackling air pollution’ across the country and ‘reducing our carbon emissions in the NHS without charging patients’.
James Roberts, of the TaxPayers Alliance, added how the expectation for patients to ‘cough up’ for the charges is ‘callous beyond belief’.
Introducing the zones at hospitals is just ‘another attack on hard-up taxpayers’ and is not ‘even the most effective way of cutting emissions’, according to James Roberts of the TaxPayers Alliance (file image)
A sign shows an Ultra Low Emission Zone in London and Tory MP Ben Bradley says the government is ‘already leading the way in tackling air pollution’ across the country and ‘reducing our carbon emissions in the NHS without charging patients’
NHS trusts made £226million in 2017/18 from parking overall and four in ten hospitals increased parking charges last year (file image)
Eighteen hospitals charged at least £3-an-hour increasing to £4-an-hour in Guildford
Introducing the zones are ‘another attack on hard-up taxpayers’ and ‘aren’t even the most effective way of cutting emissions’, according to Mr Roberts.
‘Instead of slapping a stealth tax on the sick, politicians should be looking at ways to cut the costs of getting to hospital, like tackling rip-off parking charges.’
Four in ten hospitals increased parking charges last year – and some even doubled their fares.
Airedale NHS Foundation Trust made £1,287,322 from parking in 2017/18. At Shrewsbury and Telford it used to be £3.50 for parking between five and 24 hours but is now £8.
And NHS trusts made £226million in 2017/18 from parking overall.
This comes after the introduction of the School Streets initiative two years ago in in London where parents driving their children to school face fines up to £130 to tackle the capital’s pollution.
Pedestrian streets and fines for cars waiting outside the school gates have been enforced.