NHS staff ‘taxed’ £70m in car parking charges and fines – in just a year

NHS Improvement claimed that car parking charges were necessary so that “trusts continue to develop their commercial income opportunities”.

Matt Bodell
18 October 2018

Unite the Union has dubbed the astronomical figure ‘a tax on going to work’.

NHS staff in England are being forced to pay parking fines which total nearly £70m a year – a situation that Unite has slammed as a ‘tax on going to work’,

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Figures from NHS Digital, the organisation that collects data for and about the health service, show that in the 2017/2018 year, health trusts cashed in on £69.5m in parking charges and fines from NHS workers.

These charges are in addition to the £157m raised from parking charges and fines on patients and visitors in the same year, which brings the total raised by the NHS on car parking to an astronomical £226m.

The request also revealed that half of all NHS trusts charged disabled people for parking in some or all of their disabled parking spaces.

‘Commercial income opportunities’.

A spokesperson for NHS Improvement claimed that car parking charges were necessary so that “trusts continue to develop their commercial income opportunities.

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“This is so that they can maintain their services and ensure they can provide patients with high-quality care, both now and in future.”

In contrast, the majority of car parking charges have been abolished in both Wales and Scotland.

‘A tax on going to work’.

Sarah Carpenter, Unite National Officer for Health, said the millions in car parking charges made off the backs of NHS staff are unfair, especially in light of the first pay rise workers have received in years. “It is a scandal that NHS trusts in England have pocketed nearly £70m from staff car parking charges in the year 2017/18, as it is basically ‘a tax on going to work’ that hard-pressed NHS employees are forced to pay,” she said.

“Such a large figure, revealed in the NHS Estates Returns Information, will take a large chunk out of the gains in the current NHS pay package which saw most staff get a pay rise of 6.5 percent over the next three years,” Carpenter added. 

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“This pernicious trend is replicated by financially squeezed trusts across England – our members are being used as an extra income stream for these trusts. 

“We would like a situation where dedicated NHS staff, who don’t earn a fortune, don’t have to pay to park their cars to go to work to look after the sick, the vulnerable and the injured 365 days a year.”

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