The Workers Union has hit out at local authorities and NHS chiefs, telling them to ‘abolish the car parking tax on working people.’
In a statement released this morning, a spokesperson for the organisation said: ‘We have been inundated with messages from workers concerned about the effects that excessive parking charges and penalty notices are having on their wellbeing. These situations are often a result of poor parking provision around places of work, and over zealous private parking companies slapping tickets on vehicles after workers have been forced to park in privately managed areas. If we’re as serious about levelling up as we say we are, then we must abandon the idea that working people are fair game for what can only be described as an additional tax on their livelihoods.’
The union’s statement came as some news reports highlighted proposals to introduce a city-wide parking levy in Leicester. The levy could see firms with more than 10 parking spaces being charged up to £550 a space, which could then be passed on to workers.
At the same time, NHS staff continue to experience issues with parking capacity and penalty charge notices. Exhausted workers at hospitals in York and Sheffield have been hit by fines for parking in “unapproved” areas, after either giving up the fight to find a “legitimate” parking space or confusion over what their permit entitles them to.
The Workers Union Says…
For many people that live away from their places of work, a car is an unavoidable expense. But what kind of dissonant thinking demands that people work to pay taxes (the price we all pay for a civilised society), then taxes them again for doing what society wants?
We need to get on top of this issue, fast. Yes, some city centre hospitals suffer from limited parking, yes some companies need to do better in terms of their car parking spaces and yes there are environmental issues to consider. But in the absence of a cheap, integrated transport network, what are working people supposed to do? They have to park somewhere to get into work on time.
The recent announcement that the government has capped the amount that private parking companies can charge for penalty notices is a welcome step in the right direction; yet there remains much to be done in terms of infrastructure, capacity and alternative forms of transport before this issue is finally consigned to the dustbin of history.