Worpklace parking levy is a tax that hits the lower-paid hardest - readers' letters

I am shocked and despairing of Edinburgh Council (News, 31 October) being reported as seeking to introduce a so-called workplace parking levy. Let’s call it out for what it is: a parking tax.
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The council administration is led by 13 Labour councillors (one currently whip-less) out of a total possible 63 councillors.

Instinctively I am a supporter (OK a member!) of the Labour Party but not this daft proposal that is not in the Scottish Labour Party local government manifesto for 2022 nor the Edinburgh Labour 2022 council election manifesto, is opposed by many workers’ unions and indeed opposed by Scottish Labour Party members in an annual conference in Dundee.

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The proposed devolution of powers by the SNP government to allow the introduction of this tax I believe will allow employers to pass the cost on to employees. If I recall correctly, are we not in a cost-of-living crisis?This will hit the lower-paid the worst, a regressive tax.

Employers could pass on parking charges to their staffEmployers could pass on parking charges to their staff
Employers could pass on parking charges to their staff

What Anas Sarwar says in the Scottish Labour prospectus is sound: “Across the country, households are facing a cost-of-living crisis. Bills are going up, the price of petrol is rising, and the weekly shop is more expensive than ever.”

So please take that on board Edinburgh Labour and look for savings and revenue-raising elsewhere. I think you would have public support, for example. to bin tramline 3.

Douglas McBean, Edinburgh

Drivers a cash cow

I wonder if people feel as I do? Let down by Transport Convener Scott Arthur. I had hoped he would be fairer than his predecessor but he seems to be anti-car as well.

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Why is it so bad to own a car and use it for work? Motorists are just a cash cow for local authorities. Edinburgh was even on a programme this week as the worst city in the UK for parking charges. It’s bad enough that we are going to have to pay to park at work but now you want us to pay to travel to work in our own vehicles. This at a time when bus drivers are leaving in droves and bus routes are been stopped.

Soon Edinburgh will be a no-go city for anyone other than those that live in it or who cycle or walk or are a tourist. I know builder friends and carpet fitters who turn down jobs in Edinburgh because they can’t park near the job or have to pay a small fortune to get parked nearby. What would happen if buses were on strike along with rail strikes? Would you expect people just to stay at home rather than use their car?

Susan Smart, Penicuik

Land and sea

I would like to thank Mary Thomas (Letters, 29 October) for her answer to the question of who owns the areas where offshore windfarms are located.

The Continental Shelf Act 1964 and amendments seems to suggest the areas belong to the UK Crown. There is a definition in the quoted Section 126 of the Scotland Act, but nothing in this Act suggestsownership has been transferred. This would tie in with the Crown Estates delegating the recent leasing arrangements for “Scotwind”.

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The Common Travel Area deals with travel between UK countries and also Republic of Ireland. On independence, residents in Scotland will not be part of the UK, and as things stand will require a passport and visa to travel to the rest of the UK. Reciprocal NHS treatment would also end.

We don’t know how the rest of the UK would take to Scotland leaving. Available figures suggest Scotland relies on the UK for about 65 per cent of direct exports (excluding oil), and predominantly uses England to reach Europe where only 19 per cent of exports go. I’m sure no-one denies Scotland can go it alone. But at what cost?

Alistair Murray, Edinburgh

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