The workplace car park tax going through the Scottish Parliament is described as a “stitch-up” by opposition MSPs.
Hospitals, hospices and disabled blue badge holders will be excluded from paying but a proposal by Scottish Conservatives to exempt other organisations such as Police Scotland, the Scottish Fire & Rescue Service, charities and care homes was rejected.
South of Scotland Conservative MSP Brian Whittle criticised the Greens and SNP for pushing the tax through parliament without proper scrutiny, saying it could see staff at many Ayrshire businesses forced to pay simply for driving to work.
Mr Whittle said: “These proposals could cost workers more than £500 a year and hit the lowest paid hardest, especially in more rural areas like Ayrshire where the public transport network isn’t always an alternative to the car.
“The SNP aren’t backing these proposals to protect the environment, it’s about protecting their alliance with the Greens. It’s a political stitch-up, pure and simple.”
A survey of the Scottish Parliament’s Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee found a majority of people supported the workplace parking levy proposals, to help reduce local air pollution and encourage commuters to switch away from cars.