Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner.

Workplace parking tax ruled out in north-east

Russell Borthwick, the chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said a workplace parking levy could set business recovery back "at a critical moment".
Russell Borthwick, the chief executive of Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce said a workplace parking levy could set business recovery back "at a critical moment".

An extra tax on workers and employers across the north-east has been ruled out by parties contesting the local elections in a move hailed as a “victory for common sense”.

The controversial workplace parking levy (WPL) will not be introduced in the north-east following a campaign led by Aberdeen & Grampian Chamber of Commerce (AGCC).

The chamber hailed the success of its crusade after it secured a cross-party consensus against the introduction of the proposed tax in both Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire.

It said Conservative, Labour and Liberal Democrat and SNP groups in both local authorities have confirmed they are against the proposals — meaning that they are unlikely to become a reality regardless of the outcome of the local elections.

The proposed Holyrood legislation, widely opposed by the business community, allows local authorities to decide whether to impose an annual tax on car parking spaces provided by employers.

Explainer: What is the workplace parking levy and will you have to pay it?

AGCC’s manifesto challenged all parties standing on 5 May to recognise that the added tax was “ill-suited” to Aberdeen city and shire – despite giving cash strapped councils an extra source of potential revenue.

AGCC chief executive Russell Borthwick described the move as “a victory for common sense”.

“While we want to see local authorities empowered to make good decisions for the communities they serve, a workplace parking levy could set business recovery back at a critical moment,” he said.

Encourage people back to city centre

“Councils need to encourage footfall into our city and town centres, get people back safely into workplaces and give businesses the best chance of getting back into their stride.

“The north-east of Scotland is such an interdependent region — with 100-mile round trips a daily reality for work, shopping and leisure.

“The focus of policymakers should be on the much-needed upgrades to infrastructure, investment in public transport and EV charging points to make low carbon travel options more attractive, not demonising motorists who need to get from A to B.”

The move to reject the tax by parties most likely to form local authority administrations following the elections was welcomed by both chamber members and the wider north-east business community.

Already taxed to the hilt

Callum McDonald, managing partner at Raeburn Christie Clark & Wallace, a solicitor firm with offices in Aberdeen, Banchory, Stonehaven and Inverurie, said the business already paid “substantial” tax in the form of business rates and that more costs heaped on businesses already struggling with inflation was “the last things any sensible council should do”.

“As a business with offices across the region we rely on our car parking facilities for partners, staff and clients, and we already pay substantial rates which are assessed in part because of our parking provision,” he said.

“Imposing further costs on businesses as we battle our way out of the pandemic while struggling with high inflationary cost increases is the last thing any sensible council should do, and it is refreshing to hear that all of the major parties support that view.”

Derren Mcrae head of CBRE Aberdeen  and Adrian Watson of Aberdeen Inspired. Photo by Paul Glendell

Derren McRae, head of Aberdeen office at property firm CBRE, said the move would benefit people living in more rural areas with limited access to trains or buses to commute jobs in the city.

He said: “For many people who live and work in the area, there are limited alternative modes of public transport to get to and from work, especially for people who have set up home in more rural locations.

“It is therefore pleasing that there is cross-party support to ensure there is to be no additional financial burden on office-based businesses or their employees at a time when we are now starting to see the economic benefits of people returning to the workplace.”

Jacqueline Law, managing partner at Aberdeen Considine, which has eight offices and hundreds of staff across the north-east, including in Peterhead, Ellon, Dyce and Westhill, said: “This is an excellent result and an extremely welcome step in the right direction.

Jacqueline Law, managing partner, Aberdein Considine. Photo: Ross Johnston/Newsline Media.

“It is the right decision for all those who contribute to the wider economic success and prosperity in the region and all those who live and work here.”

‘Huge relief’

Adrian Watson, chief executive of Aberdeen Inspired, the granite city’s business improvement district, said: “This is welcome news and it will come as a huge relief to the businesses of this region as they try to recover from the economic impact of the pandemic.

“A workplace parking levy would be a bad fit for Aberdeen, given just how many of our workers and visitors live in the neighbouring shire.”

Triple whammy

Yesterday in parliament, Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross urged First Minister Nicola Sturgeon to drop a “triple whammy of anti-driver taxes” ahead of the local elections.

Scottish Conservative leader Douglas Ross during First Minster’s Questions at the Scottish Parliament in Holyrood, Photo Andrew Milligan/PA Wire

He also took aim at the potential implementation of toll roads in Glasgow and a proposed congestion charge in Edinburgh.

He said: “If the First Minister carries on down this road, Nicola Sturgeon and her SNP candidates are going to force Scotland’s economy into the slow lane.

“The commuter tax should be abandoned, toll charges should be ruled out and her workplace parking tax should be ditched.

“First Minister, will you drop this triple whammy of anti-driver taxes?”

Glasgow and Edinburgh are currently examining whether to introduce the levy – with Glasgow estimating that it could raise up to £30m a year.

Nottingham is currently the only place in the UK where employees are charged to park at their work.

Already a subscriber? Sign in

[[title]]

[[text]]

Conversation

[[title_reg]]

Please enter the name you would like to appear on your comments. (It doesn’t have to be your real name - but nothing rude please, we are a polite bunch!) Use a combination of eight or more characters that includes an upper and lower case character, and a number.

By registering with [[site_name]] you agree to our Terms and Conditions and our Privacy Policy

Or sign up with

Facebook Google

[[content_reg_complete]]

[[title_login]]

Or login with

Forgotten your password? Reset it

[[title]]