PS174M SICK TAX; The top NHS trusts for hospital parking charges revealed; EXCLUSIVE.
Byline: KEIR MUDIE Deputy Political Editor
THESE are the top 10 NHS trusts raking in millions from hospital parking fees condemned by Labour as a "tax on sickness".
Heart of England Trust in the West Midlands heads the table, making PS4.89million a year from NHS workers, outpatients and people visiting sick and dying relatives.
A full list shows trusts all over the country are raking it in - adding up to a total of PS174million.
Among the top earners are ones in Leicester, Kent, Leeds and Derby.
And nearly two thirds of NHS England trusts raise more than PS1million a year from the fees.
The most expensive place to park is the Royal Surrey County Hospital in Guildford, which charges PS4 an hour.
The figures, released by Labour, come from Freedom of Information requests to 100 NHS trusts. They also show nearly half of England's hospital car parks are run by private contractors. Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said: "It's fundamentally wrong that outpatients, NHS workers and those visiting loved ones are forced to pay a tax on sickness.
"Patients and visitors should not be subsidising the profits of outsourced private contractors or making up for Tory underfunding of our NHS.
"Labour is committed to ending NHS hospital car park charges in England by making those who can afford private healthcare pay a FREE bit more in tax."
Labour pledged to scrap them in their 2017 manifesto, and find the money by increasing the rate of Insurance Premium Tax on private healthcare policies.
Last year an FOI request by the union Unison revealed some hospitals charge staff PS100 a month to park - including nurses struggling on low wages. It found THAT nurses were having to rush out during busy shifts to move their cars and avoid fines.
Julie Cooper, from Labour's Shadow Health team, has been campaigning against the charges since 2015.
FOR Ms Cooper brought in a bill in 2015 to exempt carers from hospital car park charges but it was "talked out" by Tory MP Philip Davies.
nurses. She said: "I have no doubt the NHS needs this revenue. I would ask: Is it right that we fund our health service by taxing the sick? "I am proud that the next Labour government will ensure our NHS is properly funded.
"We will abolish car parking charges at all hospitals."
The Sunday Mirror is campaigning for free parking for nurses.
1 Heart of England NHS Foundation Trust PS4,895,000
2 University Hospitals Of Leicester NHS Trust PS4,200,000
3 East Kent Hospitals University Foundation NHS Trust PS3,997,745
4 Frimley Health NHS Trust PS3,946,312
5 Derby Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust PS3,918,000
6 University Hospital Southampton PS3,730,000
7 Leeds Teaching Hospitals NHS Trust PS3,706,845
8 Nottingham University Hospitals NHS Trust PS3,620,368
9 South Warwickshire NHS Foundation Trust PS3,064,000
10 University Hospitals of North Midlands PS3,557,505
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|Publication:||Sunday Mirror (London, England)|
|Date:||Feb 11, 2018|
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