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We back Express crusade against rip-off hospital parking charges


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124964.jpgUKIP health spokesman Louise Bours said: "Hospital parking charges hit people when they are typically at their most stressed and anxious.

"They hit patients themselves when they go to outpatient appointments. They also hit people who are visiting family members, neighbours and friends in hospital.

"It is not just a matter of the financial cost to people – though that can build up for the most dutiful and frequent visitors. It is also a matter of having to make sure you have the right change and the worry that something will cause your visit to over-run and you could get a ticket or even have your car towed away.

"Going to hospital as a patient or visitor is a stressful enough thing at the best of times. But when car parks are run as revenue maximising assets rather than as a facility for people it adds significantly to the stress.

"I am delighted that the Daily Express has launched a crusade on this issue. It is one that is often raised with me by people talking about their experiences of the NHS."

UKIP would meet the estimated £100 million a year cost of scrapping the charges through a clampdown on health tourism that will force foreign nationals to pay for health insurance before entering the country.

The party estimates it can save at least £1billion by protecting NHS resources from foreign nationals who have not paid into the pot.

UKIP economic spokesman Patrick O'Flynn, a former Daily Express journalist, said: "I am delighted that my old paper has once again shown it is in touch with the concerns of the British people. We certainly think earmarking a portion of money saved through a clampdown on health tourism in order to fund getting rid of sky-high hospital parking charges is the way to go.

"As someone who has been involved with a Daily Express crusade or two in my time, I know that this one will put enormous pressure on the other political parties to tackle this pernicious problem. If UKIP can help in the battle then we are of course delighted to do so."

More information about the Daily Express' crusade to help the sick, the elderly and hard-pressed families across the country by calling for an end to the disgraceful and unfair practice of sky-high parking charges in hospital car parks can be found here.

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