MSP hits out at workplace parking tax

Brian Whittle MSP.
Brian Whittle MSP.

Brian Whittle MSP has criticised the Greens and SNP for pushing their car park tax through parliament without “proper scrutiny or fair exemptions”.

MSPs on Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee have been voting on amendments to Transport Bill making its way through Parliament. The most recent meeting saw SNP and Green MSPs voting together as a group on amendments intended to make the tax fairer and make more organisations exempt from the tax.

While the Greens and SNP agreed to exclude hospitals, hospices and disabled blue badge holders from the levy, they rejected proposals from the Scottish Conservatives to exempt a host of other organisations including Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, HM Coastguard, the RNLI, charities and care homes.

Now, ahead of the workplace parking tax becoming law, Mr Whittle is calling on the Scottish Government to reconsider their support for the plan, which could see staff at thousands of businesses forced to pay simply for driving to work.

Mr Whittle said: “These proposals could cost workers more than £500 a year and hit the lowest paid hardest, especially in rural areas where the public transport network isn’t always an alternative to the car.

“The SNP aren’t backing these proposals to protect the environment, it’s about protecting their alliance with the Greens that lets them avoid proper scrutiny and accountability. It’s a political stitch-up, pure and simple.

“This is lousy lawmaking and it’s going to leave Scots paying the price. The SNP need to see sense, ditch this unpopular, unworkable plan, and work with all the parties in Holyrood to bring forward sensible proposals to tackle climate change.”