The sickness tax
20 Mar 2007 - JG
Has there been a government better at "charging for old rope" than this current one. As I understand, our taxes go, in large parts, to the funding of all things NHS - including their car parks. However, our money that went to towards building these car parks and maintaining them was only taken from us on the premise that we wouldn't actually use them, it transpires. If we actually want to use these car parks, paid for by us, then the NHS is going to make us pay more. Lots more. What better why to make a quick buck than to charge us twice for the same thing?
This mean but very "clever" government has worked out that those who most need to go to hospital are unlikely to jog there or even put themselves through the horrors of public transport and so will drive - parking their car in the hospital car parks for the bargain price of £3.50 an hour! Two trusts have each raised more than £2 million and a further 30 raised more than £1 million. The cancer charity Macmillan described the situation as an "-outrageous charges on the weak and vulnerable-'' or easy pickings as the Treasury would probably describe it. All in all this sickness tax has raised a cool £95m.
Of course, the Department of Health spokesman has batted the story away with the gross arrogance that these spokesmen generally seem to have by insisting "-It discourages people who are not using the hospital from using the car parking spaces. This can be a problem, especially in inner city areas-". What do they take us for?! Is that the only feasible way to discourage people from parking in their car parks? How about a patient sticker system or something? It doesn't take Einstein to come up with something, I'm sure. I'd like to hear the Department of Health spokesman spin this - the £95m total does not include figures for 74 further trusts. So this is just the tip of the iceberg. They'll be charging patients to watch TV next... oh, they do already do they?