Tue 8 Oct, 2019

It seems Labour MSPs don’t trust their own councils to make such decisions John Finnie

Scottish Labour MSPs are set to vote against the wishes of their councillors this week as Holyrood debates the Transport Bill.

The Scottish Green proposal to empower councils to introduce a levy on employers based on parking spaces is set to be voted against by Labour MSPs, despite the fact the idea originated from their party.

The Workplace Parking Levy was introduced by Labour in England and Wales, successfully implemented by a Labour-controlled council in Nottingham and proposed in Labour’s council manifestos for Glasgow and Edinburgh.

Other Labour-run councils in England are set to introduce the scheme, and it was first proposed in Scotland by Scottish Labour MSP Sarah Boyack when she was Transport Minister in the early years of Holyrood.

The Green proposal would exempt the NHS from the levy and would give councils powers to introduce whatever other exemptions they felt necessary.

Commenting, Scottish Green transport spokesperson John Finnie said: “I find it perplexing that Labour would vote against its own policy, particularly when many of the party’s councillors back it.

“Local Government finance is in need of reform, and it’s important that councils have the powers to introduce fund-raising initiatives which can also drive behaviour change to tackle the climate emergency.

“It seems Labour MSPs don’t trust their own councils to make such decisions.

“I hope that this week the Transport Bill can empower councils to apply parking levies and take control of bus services as they see fit, based on local circumstances.”

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