Stealth taxes are often hard to identify but over here in little ol Sandwell our hospital trust have just come up with a beauty. I suppose being a regular visitor I am more aware than most of the costs involved with being sick. Some four years ago they started to charge disabled people to park at the hospital an action which caused great resentment and objection. Like many other groups I fought against it but the trust was not for bending. They introduced a token scheme whereby you can buy ten tokens for £10 which means that for any token you can park for as long as you like for each visit. This scheme as saved me a lot of money over the period of my illness. Recently the hospital trust announced increases to car parking charges. Not 1% not 2% but twenty% increases on all parking charges except over ten hours. The new prices apply to the token scheme as well so now we will only get 8 visits to the hospital for our ten quid. This is of course an absolute scandal particularly as in some parts of UK charges have been abandoned. Gordon promised to do something about this anomaly but nothing happened in Sandwell.
The other piece of news which is also regrettable this week is MPs getting 1% increase when many more low paid workers are being asked to take a pay freeze. I sincerely hope our MP turns this pay increase down because it is clearly a vote looser. They don’t seem to learn constituents first.