During last week’s Transport (Scotland) Bill debate, Jackie Baillie MSP exposed the extent to which the Scottish Government is trying to charge public sector employees for parking at their place of work. A Freedom of Information request by the Dumbarton Constituency MSP found that the proposed Workplace Parking levy could see Scottish Government agencies charged a combined total of £5,036,526. The figure rises considerably when you take into account all public sector workers and those employed in the private sector.
The SNP Government has decided to give local government the power to impose a charge on employers (who can then choose to pass this charge on to individual employees) for providing parking spaces in the workplace.
This included a charge of over half a million pound for the Scottish Government’s own employees and over £1 million for staff at Scottish College and Universities.
The impact on workplaces in the constituency like Chivas and HMNB Clyde at Faslane has yet to be quantified but the charge levied by Nottingham City Council is over £400 a year per person.
A series of amendments to remove the proposal completely or exempt certain workers were all defeated.
It is also disappointing that this will do nothing to help with climate change as the money secured does not need to be spent on public transport projects.
Jackie Baillie said:
“The Workplace Parking Levy has been sold as a new revenue stream to fund struggling public services – but in reality it will hit government budgets for £5 million they simply don’t have. And not one penny is required to go towards public transport projects.
“When cash-strapped employers are handed the bill, it’s more than likely that they will pass it on to their workers. At an extra £400 a year that’s a tax on just getting to your work.
“Public transport is simply not good enough and the SNP would do better to improve that so people can use reliable buses and trains and don’t need to take their cars to work.”