A local MSP has warned that the Car Park Tax unfairly targets Highland businesses and workers.
Edward Mountain complained: “Today (Wednesday, June 19) the SNP and the Greens opposed Scottish Conservative attempts to limit the damage of the Workplace Parking Levy.”
Scottish Conservative MSPs lodged dozens of amendments, Mr Mountain said, to exempt people from all over Scotland from the charge, including the police, fire services and carers.
The Workplace Parking Levy was voted through by SNP and Green members of Holyrood’s Rural Economy and Connectivity (REC) Committee as part of its scrutiny of the Transport Bill.
Mr Mountain, who facilitated the session as convener of the REC Committee, said: “I do not support any part of the workplace parking levy. I don’t believe it will achieve anything from the climate’s point of view and I don’t think it’s in the interest of people who go to work in Scotland.”
Following the vote he pointing out: “The Workplace Parking Levy is essentially a tax on those who drive to work. It could cost workers around £500 a year and it will hit the lowest paid the hardest.
“There are over 11,000 businesses in the Highlands that could be hit by this unpopular tax.
“Many Highlanders have little choice but to travel to work by car as there is insufficient public transport and it is deeply unfair to hit them with this car park tax.”
The Scottish Conservatives would again be lodging amendments at Stage 3 of the Transport Bill, he added, “to ensure that the lowest paid and hardest working people in our society do not have to pay this regressive tax.”