A Coventry MP is taking action over a “cruel” move to scrap free parking at hospitals.
Earlier in the coronavirus pandemic it was announced that parking fees for NHS staff at hospitals – including those in Coventry and Warwickshire – would be frozen.
But now, the government has announced that it will scrap the initiative, meaning staff will once again have to pay to park at their place of work.
The move has been condemned by CoventryLive readers, who said overwhelmingly that parking should remain free.
You can get your Coventry and Warwickshire news straight to your email inbox – and it’s FREE!
All you need to do is sign up here.
The emails come out twice a day, at lunchtime and in the evening, with the latest news, what’s on and sport from across Coventry and Warwickshire.
Zarah Sultana, MP for Coventry South, has put forward an Early Day Motion in Parliament calling for NHS staff to have free parking, permanently.
The MP spoke out a few weeks ago, calling for the free parking initiative to be made permanent, and also speaking in favour of a pay rise for NHS staff, to thank them for their efforts during the pandemic.
“We should be giving them support – not taking it away”
Ms Sultana said: “We’ve been clapping our NHS heroes and now we should be giving them real support, not taking it away. Scrapping free parking is a cruel way to repay NHS who have shown incredible dedication and self-sacrifice through this crisis.
“This comes after a decade of cuts for many NHS staff, with newly qualified nurses having faced an eight per cent pay cut since 2010.
“NHS staff in Coventry have told me how rising parking charges have been eating into their wages and how it’s effectively an extra tax on them for doing their jobs.
“I am calling on the Government to put money where its mouth is: Make hospital parking free for NHS staff and give them the pay rise they deserve.”
What is an Early Day Motion?
An Early Day Motion is a motion for a subject submitted for debate in the House of Commons for which no day has been fixed. This means that few are actually debated.
They are used to put on record the views of MPs or draw attention to specific issues.
Other MPs can add their signatures to support the motion.