The next Labour government will make parking at NHS England hospitals free for patients, visitors and NHS staff. Labour created the NHS to be free at the point of use, so the next Labour government will eradicate the hidden charges of car parking fees.
Labour will increase the rate of Insurance Premium Tax to 20% for private healthcare insurance products to fund the policy, replacing the £162 million England’s underfunded hospitals currently raise from car parking charges by scrapping the subsidy for people that can afford it, rather than charging people who can’t.
Last month, a Freedom of Information request by Unison revealed some hospitals are charging staff, including nurses struggling with low wages, nearly £100 a month to park, resulting in reports of nurses having to rush out in between appointments to move their cars and avoid fines.
All of Labour’s new spending commitments are fully costed and transparent. This policy will be paid for by a new charge on private healthcare insurance.
Announcing the policy, Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“Labour will end hospital parking charges, which place an unfair and unnecessary burden on families, patients and NHS staff. Hospital parking charges are a tax on serious illnesses.
“Our hospitals are struggling from under-funding at the hands of Theresa May’s Conservative government, but the gap should not be filled by charging sick patients, anxious relatives and already hard-pressed NHS staff for an essential service.
“Our NHS needs a Labour government that will stand up for the many, not the few.”