Raid foreign aid budget to end hospital car park charges, says MP

Embargoed to 0001 Thursday December 28 File photo dated 21/05/13 of accident and emergency and public car park signs at a hospital. NHS hospitals made a record £174 million in the last year from charging patients, visitors and staff for car parking, an investigation has found.
Embargoed to 0001 Thursday December 28 File photo dated 21/05/13 of accident and emergency and public car park signs at a hospital. NHS hospitals made a record £174 million in the last year from charging patients, visitors and staff for car parking, an investigation has found.

Tory MP Rob Halfon has hit out at hospital car parking charges, calling them a 'stealth tax' on vulnerable patients. Ex-minister Halfon, MP for Harlow in Essex, accused private parking companies of using sick patients as 'cash cows' and suggested providing free parking for patients by cutting the budget from other projects.

In particular, Halfon recommended looking into the overseas aid budget, which is currently £13.4 billion each year. He pointed out that funding free parking at hospitals would cost less than £200 million.