Wed 8 May, 2019

Scottish Greens have called on other parties to end their opposition to a progressive workplace parking levy after the SNP ditched its plans to cut air passenger duty following declaration of a climate emergency.

A Green amendment to the Transport Bill which would give councils the powers to introduce a workplace parking levy will be published later this week. The SNP will support the plans, but the Greens’ transport spokesperson John Finnie MSP has urged other parties to drop their hypocritical opposition to it, ahead of a debate in Parliament this afternoon in which the SNP will formally drop its proposed air tax cuts.

Scottish Greens transport spokesperson John Finnie MSP said:

“It’s very welcome that the Scottish Government recognises that declaring a climate emergency changes everything and they have moved quickly to abandon their plans to cut air passenger duty, after pressure from the Greens.

“The same must also apply to other parties, who should now drop their politically-motivated opposition to giving councils the power to introduce a workplace parking levy – a power that already exists elsewhere in the UK and, where it has been used, has cut congestion and pumped millions into public transport. They should examine why their parties trust English councils with these powers but not Scottish councils.

“This is the first test for Labour, the Lib Dems and the Tories. They say they recognise there’s a climate emergency, so today they need to show they understand what that actually means.”

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Scottish Greens have hailed a vote to abandon planned cuts to air passenger duty and called on other parties to follow their lead in tackling the climate emergency.

A debate brought by Labour MSPs called for parliament to support dropping the tax cut, something which Greens have pushed for consistently. An SNP amendment, which passed with Green support, committed the Government to the policy u-turn, whilst also highlighting progress on low carbon infrastructure spending and introducing workplace parking levy powers – both of which have resulted from Green budget wins.