The Scottish Government is handing powers to local authorities to impose a workplace parking levy.
It means workers wishing to park at their work would face a fee or charge – unless the employer decides to pay the costs itself.
The Scottish Parliament’s Transport Committee voted in favour of the legislation this week.
Its purpose is to cut the numbers of drivers on roads and clean up the environment.
But it has been met with widespread opposition from the business community in Scotland.
David Lonsdale, the director of the Scottish Retail Consortium, said the levy is a “charter for extra cost and complexity”.
How will the scheme work?
The workplace parking levy plans were drawn up by the Scottish Government as part of its budget agreement with the Greens in 2019.
The legislation is due to come into effect in March.
If a council does decide to impose the levy, firms who provide workers with on-site parking will need a licence.
The cost of which will be based on the number of spaces in the car park.
There is no upper limit for the rate businesses can be charged.
It is, however at the discretion of local authorities. So will it be imposed in Tayside and Fife?
Dundee workplace parking levy
Dundee City Council leader John Alexander has previously welcomed the legislation, saying he is supportive of more powers being given to local authorities.
But the SNP member has no plans to impose a workplace parking levy in Dundee.
He said: “Our position hasn’t changed and we have no intention of introducing a workplace parking levy.
“I cannot speak for other parties and the future position will be dependent upon the make-up of the administration after the council election in May.”
Angus workplace parking levy
Angus Council leader David Fairweather is passionate in his opposition to the levy.
The independent councillor described it as a “backdoor tax”.
He said: “The current administration could not agree to the implementation of a workplace car parking charge or any tourist tax they wish to impose in Angus.
“This is nothing more than a backdoor tax by the SNP that will further effect our citizens with more pain and hardship.
“There are other ways of reducing carbon emissions that this government can take.”
Fife and Perth and Kinross workplace parking levy
Perth and Kinross Council said it has “no plans to introduce the workplace parking levy”.
Fife Council’s head of business and employability Gordon Mole said there are no plans currently to introduce a workplace parking levy in Fife.
In 2019 Fife Council was one of the first local authorities in Scotland to officially rule out using the new power.
Cost pressures on firms
Dale Harris, chief executive of ATL Turbine Services in Dundee, says the aims of the scheme are “laudable”
But he says businesses are already grappling with a variety of cost pressures at the moment.
He said: “Given the struggles that many businesses have had recently between Covid-19, Brexit, rising inflation and energy costs, it is incredible that the Scottish Government thinks it is a good idea to implement an uncapped parking levy on businesses and employees.
“This additional tax will particularly hit workers from rural areas and shift workers for whom public transport isn’t an option.
“This could result in businesses losing valuable employees.
“People will avoid the charge by simply moving from off street work car parks to parking in the street.
“This could dangerously increase congestion and cause access problems for emergency vehicles, especially in the various industrial estates around Dundee.”