Workplace Parking Levy (Impact on Business Rates)

– in the Scottish Parliament on 28th March 2019.

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Photo of Edward Mountain Edward Mountain Conservative

4. To ask the Scottish Government what assessment the finance secretary has made of the impact on business rates of its proposed workplace parking levy. (S5O-03071)

Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

As the workplace parking levy would be a power for local authorities, not the Scottish Government, it would be for those authorities to conduct an impact analysis of any scheme that they might propose, should they wish to use that discretionary power.

Photo of Edward Mountain Edward Mountain Conservative

Well, there you go—so you are saying, “It’s not our fault.”

Let us go through this. Workplaces that have the levy imposed on them will seek to have their rent and thus their rateable value reviewed. If every local authority introduces the levy, by how much do you suspect the revenue from business rates across Scotland will be reduced? That must have been part of the assessment when you introduced the proposal.

The Deputy Presiding Officer:

Please do not say “you” when you speak to another member in the chamber. The only person who is “you” is the Presiding Officer.

Photo of Kate Forbes Kate Forbes Scottish National Party

The most interesting thing in all of this is that, in government in the UK, the member’s party agreed to keep the levy on the statute book in 2017. In other words, his party presides over a workplace parking levy right now.

On non-domestic rates, if rateable values went up or down, the Scottish Fiscal Commission would be expected to forecast the impact as part of its statutory duties. However, as I said, the power is for local authorities and, as the member knows, the workplace parking levy will be subject to both parliamentary scrutiny and the parliamentary process.