Yesterday, the Scottish National Party voted against exempting police officers, care assistants, volunteers, firefighters, shift workers and those on low incomes from having to pay a workplace parking levy. Given that, does the First Minister still agree with her party colleagues who called the levy a progressive “tax on the elite”?
We are giving councils a discretionary power. That is the empowerment of local councils that the Tories used to demand of us. No council has to use that power. Councils that decide to use it will be required to do a full consultation, part of which will be to look at the exemptions that they apply in their local areas.
I am interested in the position of Jamie Greene, who has stood up today to oppose a workplace parking levy, as he has done many times in recent weeks. The reason why I am interested in that is that, earlier in this session of Parliament, the Rural Economy and Connectivity Committee, which is chaired by the Conservative Edward Mountain, said in what was, as far as I am aware, a unanimous report:
“The Committee is of the view that demand management measures such as ... workplace parking levies have potential to make a significant emissions reduction contribution. It therefore calls on the Scottish Government to consider whether these measures should” have greater prominence in the final climate change plan. I mention that because one Jamie Greene is a member of that committee.