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Hospital Car Parking Fees Top the List of Life's Biggest Injustices

MANCHESTER, England, May 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Having to pay and display whilst visiting loved ones in hospital is life's biggest injustice payment according to new research released by The Co-operative ISA's.

Hospital parking charges head the top 20 of raw deals, with 1 in 6 (17 per cent) people citing fees for visiting sick friends and relatives as the thing they hate to pay most for, making some so angry that they deliberately risk being clamped by refusing to pay.

Having to pay to spend a penny at public toilets also makes the list of fees which get the public's back up, along with prescription charges, dentist bills and surcharges when booking flights.

The survey, which asked 2,000 people to reveal their most hated charge, reveals that taxes are the UKs most contested charges when combined, with over a third of people (39 per cent) believing that they are unfair. Inheritance Tax came second on the public's unfair hit list, closely followed by Council Tax third, while tax on savings, National Insurance and Road Tax all made the list.

Zack Hocking, Head of ISA's at The Co-operative, said: "The research confirms that there are many charges the public 'begrudgingly' has to pay for.

"Unsurprisingly taxes are a bone of contention, with even tax on savings coming above prescription charges and dentists bills."

Despite tuning in on a daily basis the public hate having to fork out for their television licence, which came fifth in the raw deal top 20, with many admitting to tuning in but deliberately not paying, despite the risks associated.

Restaurants that put a service charge on bills should take food for thought from the findings, as nearly a fifth (17 percent) of people dine elsewhere to avoid paying.

Amongst the remaining disservices making the top 20, are expensive train fares, vets bills and higher charges for taxis to get home on New Year's Eve.

Hocking added: "There is little people can do to avoid paying for most things on the list, but there are some opportunities to get their own back on the Taxman through allowances. A simple way to avoid paying tax on savings is to put money in a tax efficient ISA."

Every tax year, anyone over the age of 16 is given an ISA 'allowance' allowing them to save up to 7,200 pounds Sterling tax efficiently. Investors can choose to pay up to 3,600 pounds Sterling into a cash ISA, or the whole amount into stocks and shares where any growth in the investment is free of capital gains tax. This will rise to 10,200 pounds Sterling for the over-50s from October 6 2009 and for the under-50s from April 6 2010, 5,100 pounds Sterling of this amount can be saved in cash.

The Co-operative offers stocks and share ISAs through The Co-operative Investments, and a Cash ISA through The Co-operative Bank.

Notes to editors:

Research carried out by 72 Point on behalf of The Co-operative Bank amongst a representative sample of 2,000 adults

CFS provides a big range of financial products and services including home insurance, car insurance, investment products and pensions to over six million customers.

The Co-operative Financial Services is part of The Co-operative Group, which is the world's largest consumer co-operative with over 3 million members. CFS currently has 5.5m customers and employs over 8,000 staff. It has 110 retail and corporate branches/centres and over 1,000 face to face financial advisers. It has 38bn pounds Sterling of assets under management across its retail and corporate business areas.

SOURCE The Co-operative Bank
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