No Scottish council implements ‘senseless’ scheme
No council area in Scotland has started charging workers to park at their place of employment almost a year after the controversial scheme was brought in by Scottish Government.
Not a single penny has been made from the controversial Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) introduced in Scotland last year.
Branded a “senseless tax” at the time of introduction, the scheme was designed, the Scottish Government says, to cut the number of car journeys and protect the environment.
It came into effect last March, when councils were given the power to impose a levy on workplace parking spaces.
Employers who provide on-site parking will then need to apply for a licence, with the cost based on the number of parking spaces available.
However, it has now emerged that not one council in Scotland has implemented the levy and therefore no revenue has been created.
Jenny Gilruth, left, Minister for Transport, was asked in parliament if any councils had taken up the option to charge people the parking tax, but she admitted that there had been no interest.
Liam Kerr, Scottish Conservative Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Net Zero, Energy & Transport said: “This is hugely embarrassing for the SNP/Green coalition given they tried so hard to force through this legislation giving councils ridiculous and punitive powers to tax workers.
“Fortunately Scotland’s 32 local authorities appear to have more sense and have decided to put the brakes on this policy.
“It’s yet another example of the Scottish Government forcing something through that was unpopular, would have punished low-income families, and placed significant strain on those who depend on their cars for work.
“Ministers are not serious when it comes to reducing emissions or congestion, and this failed policy proves that once again.
“The Nationalists should have listened to people and businesses and pursued something altogether more responsible and reasonable.”
A Transport Scotland spokesperson said: “Workplace parking licensing gives local authorities the choice to introduce a levy – it is not mandatory. Councils also have the power to apply exemptions as they see fit.
“WPL has the potential to encourage the use of more sustainable travel, while raising revenue that will be used to improve public and sustainable transport. It supports our commitment to reduce car kilometres travelled by 20% by 2030 as part of our climate change goals.
“These discretionary local powers, which are already held by councils in England and Wales, were welcomed by our local authority partners in COSLA and by local leaders of all parties, as well as Transform Scotland, Friends of the Earth and other transport partners.”
Ah well won’t make much odds in WDC with so many working at home.