Workplace parking levy passes into Transport Bill

Written by Tom Freeman on 20 June 2019 in News

MSPs back parking levy despite opposition calls that it would prove to be "regressive"

Car park - Sam Saunders

MSPs have backed plans to introduce powers for local councils to implement a levy on workplace parking spots.

The amendment to the Transport Bill by Green MSP John Finnie is the result of a budget deal between the SNP and the Greens, and was passed by the Rural Economy Committee.

Although the levy would be charged to employers, both Labour and the Conservatives said the charge will be passed onto employees.

SNP MSP Richard Lyle had voiced opposition "as a motorist" to the idea in previous committee meetings, but had a last minute change of heart.

"Just because I have listened to the arguments, listened to the evidence, and changed my view, I'm now being attacked," he said.

Despite the successful introduction of a similar scheme by a Labour council in Nottingham, Scottish Labour called the plans "Highway Robbery"

Transport spokesperson Colin Smyth called it "an unfair and unworkable tax.”

Finnie said: “I’m grateful to my committee colleagues for supporting my proposal. Scotland is faced with a public health crisis, we have 38 air pollution hot spots throughout the country with thousands of deaths attributed to poor air quality annually. We are also faced with a climate emergency, and we know that transport is one of the biggest contributors, with transport emissions rising year on year.

"It is vital that councils have a series of tools at their disposal to tackle these crises and the workplace parking levy will play an important part of that.” 

The levy has now been added in to the Transport (Scotland) Bill, which will pass to the chamber for a vote of all MSPs.



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