Controversial workplace parking charges will not be introduced for at least three years, according to Scottish government sources. Delays in the introduction of the new levy, as a result of lengthy Holyrood legislative scrutiny and a requirement that councils will then have to consult, means it cannot be launched until at least 2022. Government sources believe only Edinburgh, Glasgow, Dundee or Aberdeen councils are likely to consider bringing in the levy. One source told The Sunday Times: “The process of introducing this levy has a long way to go. Amendments will need to be introduced to the transport bill, and regulations agreed and brought forward. The bill will need to be passed and enacted after appropriate consultation. “It will be down to the councils themselves to carry out their own consultations and local economic impact assessments before it can be introduced locally.”
Sunday Times 24th March 2019 read more »
A MEMBER of Scottish Labour’s shadow cabinet has “defied” leader Richard Leonard after hitting out at her party’s opposition to the Government-backed workplace parking levy. Claudia Beamish, the spokesperson for Environment, Climate Change and Land Reform, said she is “uncomfortable” with Labour’s position and added that she hopes the policy “will come”. She also dismissed the party’s line that the charge is regressive and added that many motorists in Edinburgh are men who drive SUVs. A party source said: “Claudia has defied the party leadership and the notion of collective responsibility. She has strong environmental principles, and she will have a level of support within the party for this position, but discipline simply shouldn’t break down like this.” Under the proposal, which was secured by the Scottish Greens during budget negotiations with the SNP Government, councils would be given the power to introduce a levy on car parking spaces. If enacted, firms could pass on the costs to their staff. The Scottish Tories have launched a national campaign opposing the policy, while Scottish Labour have also criticised the move. SNP MSP James Dornan said: “This frank and honest concession from Scottish Labour’s environment spokesperson is evidence of how opportunistic and unprincipled the Scottish Labour Party has become under Richard Leonard. “Scottish Labour have been caught out previously on this issue with others in Richard Leonard’s frontbench condemning a policy their own councillors in Edinburgh and Glasgow are still promoting. Labour really have driven over their foot with this hypocrisy.” A Labour spokesperson said: “Labour conference voted to oppose this measure and we will oppose it on the Transport Bill. The Government are seeking to introduce this measure with no assessment of its potential impact.”
Herald 24th March 2019 read more »
Scottish Government ministers sought to withhold mention of the absence of “any detail” on plans for a workplace parking tax from official communiqués, it has emerged. It has also been revealed that senior SNP figures, including former cabinet ministers, lobbied finance secretary Derek Mackay with their constituents’ concerns over the proposal. Opponents say Mr Mackay has been seeking to “spin his way out” of the policy, which could see Scots charged £500 a year for parking at work. The controversial measure was among the concessions given to the Greens to secure the passage of the government’s budget last month. But it has prompted a backlash among motoring organisations, the public and opposition politicians.
Scotsman 23rd March 2019 read more »