HOLDING PEN, Knacker’s Yard, Sunday (NTN) — The government has carefully balanced the NHS budget using parking fees. “The NHS remains free at the point of contact,” said health minister Simon Burns. “But we didn’t say anything about getting to the point of contact.”
In 2009, Labour health secretary Andy Burnham promised to scrap the fees. He also promised to eliminate MRSA, help alleviate the symptoms of cancer with regular use, fit anyone who asked with new robot limbs and a forehead-mounted laser cannon, square the circle and make Labour sound reelectable.
But Mr Burns said this was not a U-turn. “It’s more of a sideways shuffle, like the road sign where the car’s tracks actually cross. We practiced that manoeuvre for quite some time in opposition, so you could reap the benefit.”
NHS trusts will be able to decide individually whether to offer parking free or to continue the charges and make another £100 million that year. “I’m sure we can expect them to do the right thing.”
Mr Burns emphasised the role of the tax system in properly motivating people to health. “Parking fees are vital in keeping people away from clostridium difficile and the awful café snacks.” He also spoke of the “underappreciated” role of homeopathy in the NHS, particularly homeopathic quantities of funding.