Labour MSPs will vote against workplace parking levy - even though Edinburgh Labour campaigned for it.

LABOUR MSPs are set to vote against allowing councils to introduce a workplace parking levy at Holyrood today - even though party colleagues in the Capital were elected on a pledge to do so.

Wednesday, 9th October 2019, 06:00 am
Edinburgh Labour leader Cammy Day says a levy is one tool to help discourage people from bringing cars into the city centre.

The Labour manifesto at the last council elections in 2017 included a call for the right to charge businesses for parking spaces they provide.

And when the party formed a joint administration with the SNP at the City Chambers, the workplace parking levy was one of the policies in the coalition deal.

But when a proposal by the SNP and the Greens to give local authorities the power to introduce a levy is debated in the Scottish Parliament this afternoon, Labour will argue it would be a tax on workers, hitting the poorest hardest and doing little to reduce congestion or emissions.

Under the SNP/Green proposals, it would be up to local authorities to decide whether to introduce a workplace parking levy.

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He said: “This is not about taxing people, it’s about saying we need to discourage the use of petrol and diesel cars coming into the city, it’s about encouraging people to use bikes and public transport.

“The Edinburgh coalition is setting ambitious targets on climate change and sustainability with the city centre transformation, the extension of the trams, an electric bike hire scheme, all to make transport more efficient and effective and better for people’s health and the city’s environment. The workplace parking levy is one of the tools we want to deliver a better place to live and work.”

The Scottish Parliament will vote this afternoon on whether Scotland should follow England in allowing a workplace parking levy.

A Labour spokesman said: “The workplace parking levy has been sold as a new revenue stream to fund struggling public services - but in reality it will hit public sector budgets for £5 million that the simply don’t have, thanks to Tory austerity passed on by the SNP.

“Scottish Labour will stand up for public services and vote against the SNP’s botched plans.”