Row over workplace parking levy
Carlaw and Swinney clash over ‘unworkable’ car park tax
A tax on parking at work has caused new divisions in parliament
Scottish Tories led an assault on government plans to introduce a tax on workplace car parks, claiming during a heated debate in parliament that the plan was wrong and unworkable.
Jackson Carlaw, the Tories acting leader, said thousands of Scottish workers would suffer and he accused the government of failing to produce any details, calling on deputy First Minister John Swinney – standing in for Nicola Sturgeon – to “admit he got it wrong”.
He said it would amount to a 10p in the pound tax rise for the lower paid. The tax, he said, was “unwanted and unworkable”.
He was accused of hypocrisy by Mr Swinney who said the proposal was an exercise in empowering local government, something that Mr Carlaw and his Tory colleagues had previously demanded.
“It is important that Parliament is clear about what is proposed here,” he said. “This is an agreement to bring forward an amendment to the Transport Bill that will enable local authorities to exercise a judgement as to whether they wish to apply a workplace parking levy.”
Green MSP Andy Wightman pointed out that the powers to enable workplace parking levies exist in England.
“Tthey were introduced by a Labour government, and the Nottingham scheme was implemented by a Labour council. Moreover, th Liberal Democrats supported such powers during the passage of the Transport (Scotland) Bill in 2000,” he said.
He said the two parties were “more interested in partisan political point scoring than in working together to tackle pollution, reduce congestion and empower local government”.