Tory plan

Tories in bid to halt ‘punitive’ workplace parking levy

Graham Simpson
Graham Simpson: punishing tax

Scottish Conservatives will this week make a last-ditch bid to halt controversial SNP plans to introduce uncapped workplace parking levies from next month.

In an effort to scrap the planned tax, the Tories will bring a debate on the levy to parliament on Wednesday – arguing that the scheme is a “tax on drivers”, which will fail to produce any environmental impact.

Shadow Transport Minister, Graham Simpson will also bring a vote to the Net Zero, Energy and Transport Committee today, to halt legislation that is due to bring the scheme into force next Friday. 

The new scheme will give councils unlimited powers to set the rate of levies imposed on businesses and staff for workplace parking – leading to fears that employers and workers could be hit by punitive charges.

The plans have been widely condemned by Scotland’s business community. The Scottish Retail Consortium labelled the tax a “recipe for extra cost and complexity”, while the Scottish Chambers of Commerce said businesses were concerned local authorities would use the levy as a “revenue stream, rather than for purely environmental reasons”.

Mr Simpson said: “The Scottish Conservatives will do everything we can to halt this punishing new tax.

“Scottish businesses and their hardworking staff are dreading the introduction of this unfair scheme – and many are wondering how they are going to cope with the potentially exorbitant charges.

“As long as the SNP continue to fail to provide Scotland with a public transport system that is affordable and fit-for-purpose, punitive measures like this will have no environmental benefit.

“Instead, this senseless tax will hit businesses and workers hard, slap bang in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis and our recovery from the pandemic.

“Scots can see right through the SNP’s bluster – this is nothing more than a money-making scheme to help shore up holes in the SNP Government’s inadequate local council funding.

“But it’s not too late to reverse these plans. I urge the SNP to listen to the outcry on all sides and scrap this irresponsible tax before businesses and working Scots bear the brunt.”

Comment: Tougher response needed to anti-motorist policies

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