Posted by: westlancashirerecord | October 3, 2018

Nurses Forced To Take Parking Charge Medicine

For nurses and other local NHS Staff, car parking charges are bad medicine. Southport and Ormskirk Hospital NHS (SOHNHS) staff are obliged to supply detailed information about applications to use NHS car parks. It includes being a blue badge holder, working hours, distance from home to work, average days per week travel between hospital sites, nearness to public transport, and interest in a car share scheme.

Ultimately, staff have to accept deductions from salary for working 20 hours or over, £28.95 a month, or less than 20 hours, £14.47 a month, with options to pay from gross or net salary. Paying from net salary will be the full deduction after tax . Staff can “Opt in to the salary sacrifice scheme and pay for car parking from gross salary”. In a recent annual report over 12 months, car parking income of £908,741 was taken in Southport  and £718,530 from Ormskirk , totalling £1,626,241 between the two Southport’s NHS hospitals

Readers will wonder why our local hospital staff doing vital, often life saving, work on our behalf are in effect double taxed, by general income tax and this pernicious car parking tax. Their colleagues in Wales and Scotland do not face car parking fees. Parking fees were scrapped for hospitals in Scotland in 2009, but a small number of NHS sites still charge for privately-run car parks. Parking at all NHS hospitals in Wales is now free, a decade after the Welsh Government first announced the policy. Hospitals in Northern Ireland and England still charge for parking, with NHS England making £174m from the charges last year.

It may have occurred to our NHS staff that, after the taxation described above, from their net income they will be paying council tax to West Lancashire Borough Council. And, no surprise, WLBC has a staff car-parking policy which states “There are ample car parking facilities at all of our sites and all Council employees receive free car parking”. Free to them, paid for by us!

And, not too far away from Ormskirk Hospital, we find Edge Hill University (Ormskirk Campus). EHU states that “The demand for car parking at the Ormskirk Campus remains significant, however the physical parking capacity is limited and cannot always accommodate all vehicles during peak periods. Edge Hill seeks to provide free parking to all campus users”. Again, free to them, paid for by us!

So, did I say double tax? Well here’s the triple tax whammy for our devoted, skilled, NHS nurses and all staff. Taxed on income, taxed to park at work, and taxed to pay for our local government officers who all park free. Isn’t that disgraceful? That’s bad medicine!

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