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Reilly 'disappointed' at Belfast Trust's proposal to increase hospital car-parking charges

20 January, 2022 - by Aisling Reilly

Sinn Féin MLA Aisling Reilly has expressed her deep disappointment at the Belfast Trust's proposals to increase hospital car-parking charges. 

The West Belfast MLA said: 

“Today, during an evidence session to the health committee, the Belfast Trust indicated that they are ‘exploring options for increasing the current charges and/or applying charges on other sites ...’

“I am deeply disappointed at this retrograde proposal from the Belfast Trust, particularly at a time when we should all be investigating ways to make the lives of our health and social care workers and patients easier.  

“Hospital car-parking charges represent an unfair additional tax on the wages of low paid workers and are an additional burden to patients that are already facing considerable pressures, often due to serious illness.  

“They also present a distinct inequality to rural workers, patients and their families, who already experience inequalities in access to infrastructure and public transport.  

“My private members bill to abolish hospital car-parking charges across all trusts is a concrete and tangible measure that will put money into the pockets of thousands of hard-pressed health and social care workers.  

“Paying lip service to these workers for their sacrifices, especially in the past two years, is no longer an option. 

“The bill will also undo the unnecessary burdens imposed on patients and their families.  

“At a time when the entire health and social care sector is crippled by a chronic workforce shortage, it is important that we create conditions that will make the sector more attractive for workers.  

“The abolition of this unfair additional tax on workers is a step in the right direction if we want to recruit and retain the workers we need across health and social care."

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