MURDO FRASER LAUNCHES SCATHING ATTACK ON CONTROVERSIAL CAR PARK TAX

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has launched a scathing attack on the SNP’s car park tax, stating it should be consigned to the dustbin by Holyrood.

Outlining how he feels the controversial car park tax is a regressive tax that will hit the poorest hardest, Mr Fraser listed the diverse range of employees it will hit.

Commenting, he said: “Teachers, teaching assistants, school support staff and those working in school catering will all be asked to pay. Emergency services workers will all be asked to pay.

“The Police will be asked to pay. And those in low paid private sector jobs, whether in retail, or the care sector, or in hospitality, will all be asked to pay. The car park tax emerged from the budget deal between the SNP and the Greens, and although this looks like a Green provision, it now appears the idea was first put on the table by the Finance Secretary.

“The car park tax is a bad idea because it is a regressive tax, likely to cost £500 a year, and could hit the lowest paid workers hardest. It is a measure that simply has not been thought through - there was no economic analysis of the new tax, and there was no consultation with any businesses, other organisations or stakeholders before it was proposed.

“We have very little detail as to how this tax will operate in practice, something that the Federation of Small Businesses has described as ‘alarming.’”

Mr Fraser continued: “This is a tax that will hit the poorest hardest. For those on low wages, whether nightshift security workers, or those in retail, it will represent a substantial hit to their pockets. And these are individuals, who because of shift patterns, may simply not have a safe, reliable, and affordable public transport alternative, so they have no option but to use their cars, and these are the people the SNP are planning to hit in their pockets.

“In addition, there is no evidence whatsoever that it is likely to have an effect on reducing traffic pollution. Nottingham City Council, in their submission to the REC Committee, said that congestion in the city got worse rather than better, since the car park tax was introduced there in 2012. And even if it was about tackling climate change, it is a blunt measure which will have little impact on the better off but will hit the poorest hardest. It is simply a bad tax; a bad idea and Parliament should have consigned it to the dustbin this afternoon.”

The working place levy is expected to be passed by a majority of MSPs later today (Thursday). The move will allow local authorities across Scotland the power to charge businesses an annual fee for every parking space they provide for workers.