South Scotland MSP and Scottish Labour’s Transport Spokesperson Colin Smyth has labelled plans by the SNP and Greens for a tax on ‘workplace parking spaces’ as a distraction from the real budget issue of massive cuts to council budgets.
The plans to give council’s the power to introduce such a levy are part of a deal between the SNP Government and Green MSPs to secure support from the Green’s for the Government’s budget.
However, as a result of the budget Dumfries and Galloway Council faces having to make over £16m of cuts to balance the books- taking the total cuts to nearly £100m since 2010.
South Scotland MSP Colin Smyth said, “The proposals for a so-called Workplace Parking levy are unravelling before our eyes as everyday new questions are asked that the SNP Government simply can’t answer such as who will be exempt. Under the plans a Health Board Chief Executive on over £100,000 a year won’t have to pay but a Carer who works for charity on the minimum wage will. A company cleaner will have to pay the same levy as a company boss, so you really don’t get much more regressive than this workers tax and that’s why Labour will oppose it in Parliament“.
“But the real tragedy of the deal between the Greens and the SNP on the budget is the massive cuts to council budgets will still go ahead and the debate over the workplace parking levy is a real distraction. If this budget goes ahead we will see hundreds more council jobs being axed and local services being cut by another £16.5 million and that will be devastating for our area”