Minister Sadiq Khan announced the Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) today. It will be trialled in Nottingham and is expected to net Nottingham City Council £11.3m a year. No wonder lobby groups have reacted with fury. The Forum of Private Business has described this new tax on businesses’ own parking spaces as “scandalous”.
“It’s the business equivalent to introducing a driveway tax to charge people for parking outside their own homes,” says FPB chief executive Phil Orford. “This announcement could not come at a worse time for smaller businesses, who are struggling with rising costs on almost every front and trying their best to make it through the recession. “I would urge the government to shelve this scheme. If it wants to reduce congestion and pollution, it should concentrate on improving the quality and affordability of public transport, not penalising employers for taking cars off Britain’s crowded streets.” The FPB also argues that the economy of Nottingham – and other towns in which the WPL scheme is introduced – will suffer, becoming uncompetitive and seeing an exodus of employment as businesses move elsewhere.