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'Hospital parking fees are a tax on sickness and a tax on families and carers, and penalise the poorest the most' - Plans to scrap hospital parking charges welcomed in north Norfolk

PUBLISHED: 12:51 08 May 2017 | UPDATED: 10:25 09 May 2017

Cromer Hospital. 
PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Cromer Hospital. PHOTO: ANTONY KELLY

Archant Norfolk 2013

A local political group has welcomed new plans which could see hospital parking charges scraped.

Stephen Burke. Picture: Labour PartyStephen Burke. Picture: Labour Party

It comes following today’s pledge by the Labour Party to wipe out NHS hospital car parking charges in a £190m vow to patients, families and staff.

Following the announcement, the North Norfolk Labour Party has welcomed the plans.

Stephen Burke, Labour’s candidate for North Norfolk, said: “Hospital parking fees are a tax on sickness and a tax on families and carers, and penalise the poorest the most. Parking charges at the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital go to private firms rather than being reinvested in the NHS, and the party believes the fees are incompatible with an NHS which is free at the point of need.

“Going to hospital is stressful at the best of times. But being forced to pay for treatment or to visit your loved ones through parking charges makes it worse. Let’s scrap this tax on sickness and ensure we have a NHS that is free at the point of need.”

Jeremy Corbyn said in a statement that the major policy would feature in the party’s general election manifesto and claimed it would be funded by increasing the rate of insurance premium tax on private healthcare products by more than half, from 12pc to 20pc.

The North Norfolk Labour Party has been petitioning about the issue since autumn 2016 when the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (N&N) increased its parking fees.

Current cost to park at the N&N is:

- All stays under 30 minutes are free.

- 30 minutes up to 2 hours – £3.00

- Up to 3 hours – £3.50

- Up to 4 hours – £4.50

- Up to 5 hours – £6.50

- Up to 8 hours – £8.00

- 8 to 24 hours – £12.00.

(Outpatient appointments exceeding 3 hours will be validated by clinic for the minimum charge £3.00.)

Current cost to park at Cromer Hospital is:

- 30 minutes - 50p

- Up to 3 hours - £2

- Up to 4 hours - £4

- (Maximum stay) Up to 5 hours - £6

(Any patient whose appointment lasts longer than 3 hours can have their ticket validated for the minimum charge of £2.)

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