You have to pay to park at Dr Grumble's hospital. If you don't you get clamped. Dr Grumble has been clamped. The receipt to have his car released is below. This sort of thing happens all the time but for some reason it has become newsworthy recently. Thirty-five pounds is not much given that some patients get charged £30 per day to park.
Some years ago a friend of Dr Grumble asked him if he might like to join him working for the largest pharmaceutical company in the world. He was invited to visit the headquarters and was liberally wined and dined. Dr Grumble, out of curiosity, asked how much his friend paid to park his car. Nothing at all was the answer. When Dr Grumble was a civil servant he too paid nothing at all. He even parked in Whitehall for nothing at all. And, quite often, he had a driver or a hire car. So it was not a great surprise to find that he wouldn't have had to pay had he chosen to work for the world's largest drug company. But what was even more amazing was that he wouldn't have had to pay for the car either. That would have been thrown in as part of the package. And not the sort of car that Dr Grumble drives but a very much better and newer model. Looked at against this background the NHS seems rather stingy. Dr Grumble is not complaining. He is quite sure that he is a lot happier in his present job than he would have been working for the pharmaceutical company but a free car with the job seems odd to Dr Grumble with his NHS pedigree. But it is, of course, commonplace.
And is it really alright to make low paid hospital workers shell out for parking? It's not cheap. And if you are working odd hours alternative transport is not necessarily that easy. Dr Grumble pays £860 per annum to be assured of a parking space. That's very nearly as much as he pays to the Medical Defence Union lest he makes a costly mistake. And it's not tax deductable. Dr Grumble can afford it. But what about Dr Grumble's secretary? What percentage of her salary does this mop up? No wonder we have to get our letters typed in India.