Union bosses and the Labour Party has responded angrily to news that hospitals are abolishing free parking for sick patients and people with disabilities.
The Mirror reports that Lancashire Teaching Hospitals Trust introduced the controversial policy just days before Christmas, with dialysis patients and carers among those will be affected by the cruel decision.
And Nottinghamshire University Hospitals Trust, which the Mirror claims made £3.6million from parking charges last year, are scrapping free parking for Blue Badge holders from January next year (2019).
The NHS Trusts claim the changes are about pricing equality, but Labour’s Shadow Health Minister Jonathan Ashworth MP likened the move to a stealth tax on the sick and disabled.
“Hospital car park charging is a tax on the sick and disabled and a Jeremy Corbyn Labour government will bin these unfair charges”, he told The Mirror.
Unison’s Christina McAnea said the “scrooge tactics” would “penalise staff and vulnerable patients”.
“Hospital parking is in danger of becoming a licence to print money”, she added.
Lancashire Teaching Hospitals said a new £2.50 per day flat rate would be a “more equitable approach”.
Nottingham University Hospitals Trust said: “Running our car parks is expensive and increasing year on year.
“All of the money we make goes back into funding maintenance, security and improvements.”