HERE WE GO AGAIN

Across England workplace parking charges have been operating for years. Why is it unfair in Scotland?

These are not taxes imposed by central government in London, Cardiff, Belfast or in Edinburgh. They are, instead, options open to local councils to raise extra money. Freedom, if you will for locally elected councillors to find different ways of raising money to pay for services that the Tories seem to think are so dire.

I thought that the Tories were in favour of more local democracy and that they believed that government in Edinburgh should devolve more powers to local authorities.

Conservative councils are, of course, at liberty to decide whether or not to impose this ‘tax’ on people, as they are to reduce the council tax, not charge for any parking, allow people in to council gyms and swimming facilities for free, etc…

However, it’s somewhat anti devolutionary for the Tories in Edinburgh to say that no Conservative council will impose this charge. Surely that is up to local government to decide?

Most people who work in town centres have to pay parking charges either to the local council or to private car parking firms because their companies do not have car parks, and that includes UK government offices, like, for example the DWP. And of course, people shopping in the town centre have to do the same.

Perhaps the Tories would like to remember that as we all come out of the dire situations of the last 2 years of lockdown, that increases in tax are not only being imposed by local councils and not only in Scotland.

Despite the well documented promises of Boris Johnson not to increase Income Tax, VAT or National Insurance, he has done just that, indeed to the highest level for decades.

44 thoughts on “HERE WE GO AGAIN”

  1. The Leicester scheme will accelerate the transformation to a third-world shithole. Its pretty much there now but this will finish it off.

    Public transport is a joke – for example the cost of the “Park & Ride” schemes are more than double the cost of actually parking the car in town all day; the various bus services (if they even exist) are sporadic and unreliable, using 30 year old buses in places; the cost of a monthly bus ticket from 4 miles out of the city centre is upwards of £200; its cheaper to get a taxi to Nuneaton (£35) and get the train to London from there compared to taking the SAME TRAIN from Leicester.

    The Nottingham scheme worked because they had a plan in place PRIOR to any workplace levy. Leicester doesn’t and never will. The trams were NOT directly funded by the levy, they were in place/under construction prior to that.

    Perhaps Peter Soulsby (Leicester’s gravy train mayor, corrupt to the core) should stop buying commercial property with taxpayers money for his family’s benefit (£30million or so since 2020) and actually spend it on services. Then again pigs might fly.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. That’s the problem with privatising things. The job ceases to be to provide a service and becomes how much money can we make… and of course, the management of these things is often far away from where the service is provided, frequently in another country where they just wouldn’t get away with fleecing people.

      At times when I’ve worked in or near the centre of the town, I’ve always had to pay for parking, including the short time I worked, between contracts, for the DWP.

      Maybe you could get a tame aristocrat who lives nearby to try to get some levelling up finds. It seems to me that they are favoured in that respect.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You miss the point re Leicester.

        Soulsby was the highest paid “executive” in any council in E&W way back in 96. His daughter is/was (haven’t kept track) an assistant mayor after her business in the “Cultural Quarter” failed for the second time.

        As Private Eye would have it – do your own reading.

        The money from workplace levy in Leicester is a straight tax. Nothing else.

        I advocated free/subsided fares at peak times at least 20 years ago so don’t point the tory finger at me.

        Liked by 2 people

  2. Also AFAIK there are only two areas in England where a workplace levy is in place & they both have trams – Nottingham and Manchester (the latter being quite recent).

    Liked by 2 people

  3. This seems to be a particularly ham-fisted announcement. Want to change behaviours? Then give people an incentive. As Vestas says if this was backed by increased investment in public transport then more power to them. Otherwise this is just passing the buck to local councils who are certain to be voted out of office come May. The Tories know that opposition to this is a vote winner. That Labour now wants a slice of the action is a sure sign of yet another greenwashing policy half thought through and implemented badly from this hapless administration.

    Liked by 3 people

    1. Want to change behaviour?

      Fund transport in the rest of the country to the same extent as London. By my rough reckoning that’s around £60bn due to the rest of the country just to cover TfL’s funding in the last decade.

      Bit of a difference from £1.6bn which is all that’s on offer eh?

      Money from workplace levies won’t be hypothecated so nothing will change except people will pay more tax. Oh and bus companies will make bigger profits of course.

      Liked by 4 people

            1. Well, we have to disagree on this.

              As I’ve said before, they are far from perfect, but they are the only thing we have got.

              The rest are just crap.

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              1. Free bus travel for under 22 yr olds, free bus pass for older folk at 60, (lucky if you get it at 65 in Gateshead or Northumberland) some free train travel for students in Scotland? Not perfect but a million miles from the disaster capitalists at Westminster. People need to look at the facts and at what the SNP are doing for the people of Scotland, against huge odds of being hindered on many levels by the English government. Just pop over to the SNP website to get the up to date info on policy and how it’s being put into practice.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I see Murdo the Unelectable is warbling on again about Putin being on our side in 2014.

                  As I recall, Cameron asked him for help to persuade us rebel Scots and he said… nothing to do with me mate.

                  So that’s being on our side.

                  And then he’s warbling about Alex Salmond being on RT.

                  Given that he does sod all else for his money, you’d think he’d keep up with who was who in the SNP.

                  I wonder if he think Hugh Gaitskell is still leading the Labour Party.

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    2. Of course, employers could provide transport for employees – the ‘works bus’ was quite common in years past. Many could also move closer to premises nearer where people live. And, yes, public transport could be re-regulated and subsidised to the extent TfL is and, brought into public ownership.
      Installing shower facilities and expenses for cycling and walking would help.

      For many businesses, the pandemic showed that working from home could be done effectively.

      Employees could car share. Car clubs could have stances close to places of high employment.

      All of these things would reduce the numbers of car trips and, consequently, reduce air pollution.

      What is disappointing is that amongst the loudest opponents are health service workers and school teachers. Clearly, ‘walking the walk’ is for others. They just tell other people what to do. A fair proportion of school playground space has been given over to car parking space for staff.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Agreed, Alasdair.

        There are many things that can be done, and we should be subsidising public transport, but we should also own it, or at least most of it.

        People who say that public run services are badly run need to go to France and, for example, travel on their trains.

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      2. I don’t know what the situation is like in Scotland but in areas outside London then its impossible for most NHS staff to rely on public transport simply because its not running at times they need. Also they get charged to park already – even bikes in some NHS Trusts! No use saying “walk to work” because they can’t afford the house prices anywhere hospitals are situated and would you want to walk around a city centre in the middle of the night on a regular basis if you were female?

        Teachers are in a worse situation (daughter works for NW Leics in schools) as new teachers are all on short-term contracts* now so they quite often have no idea where they’ll be working after summer break. Its simply not possible to take the bus as it usually won’t exist and if it does will be heading for one of the urban areas in Leics/East Mids. This means you’ll end up probably having to take 2 buses from different companies so double the cost (and time). Cycling isn’t an option for most because of the amount of work taken home. The days of teachers living close to schools for the entirety of their career have been over for a very long time.

        *same in Scotland from what I read

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        1. In most hospitals in Scotland parking is free for patients and staff alike.

          There used to be exceptions where the previous government had absolutely unbreakable contracts for parking fees with private companies. One of them was Ninewells Hospital in Dundee, but I’m pretty sure that that was abolished under emergency powers during the virus.

          There’s not an easy way out of this.

          Our roads are too narrow for all the transport we have, they are overcrowded and often dangerous.

          We need fewer cars on the roads.

          We need properly subsidiesed decent public transport. Other countries can do it.

          In the Faroes, for example, all buses are free to everyone.

          In Scotland everyone over 60 gets free bus transport (as in most of the EU) and now everyone under 22 is entitled to it too.

          We are working in that direction.

          The only answer is to improve and make free, or cheap, our public transport. And, I think that should include trains… and run them for the convenience of passengers and not for the profit of the owners.

          Like

          1. I’ll say the same thing I said 20 years ago.

            Make peak-time public transport journeys free outside London. See what the effect is on traffic & costs over a couple of years then go from there.

            Rural areas have always been screwed – north and south of the border – and that won’t change.

            When I lived in Lewis (80s/90s) there were two buses a day to Stornoway – one at 8am and the other at 1pm. Last bus from Stornoway left at 6pm. That changed a bit with EU funding for a few years but that’s gone now. A similar situation exists in Leicestershire for many villages where they simply don’t have a service now.

            People will always have cars in rural areas now – and that won’t change either.

            Liked by 1 person

              1. It won’t change in the UK because once you go off the A roads then the quality of the roads in E&W ranges from good to “what road?”.

                Where bus services have been running for years then the roads are usually acceptable. Where they haven’t then the road is pretty close to being single track as the sides of the bitmac have long since disintegrated.

                I was on a B road less than two miles out of Loughborough yesterday and you couldn’t do more than 30 miles an hour unless you were in a 4×4 with huge wheels. Camber on the road is up/down/wherever due to subsidence/wear & tear. About 2 thousand people live down that road. Nobody has it in their budget anytime soon.

                The neglect of infrastructure (bar London) is endemic so you’d have to rebuild roads to even run a reliable bus service.

                Its not going to happen.

                It’s not even going to happen in an indy Scotland because who in the central belt really gives a toss about (for example) the A83 Rest & Be Thankful section? Its a major deal for Argyll but its been happening for years and what’s currently proposed is total nonsense even though its entirely in the control of ScotGov. Just teuchters eh?

                We’re past the stage where effective public transport via roads in rural areas is viable IMHO.

                What the answer is for rural areas – I don’t think there is one other than cars of some sort. The rate Leicestershire is being built on in terms of solar farms* then EVs are the plan but that raises all sorts of ethical stuff about lithium and nickel mines. We won’t go there or it’ll go on forever 🙂

                *they’re being built on agricultural land rather than brownfield beacuse its cheaper. Councils here have a statutory duty to increase the amount of renewable energy generated and obviously take least cost route because legally they have to.

                Liked by 1 person

    1. It was Alex Salmond who invaded the Ukraine Niko and he isn’t even in the SNP. It was because he had a programme on RT and that was enough encouragement for Putin to do bad things apparently.

      As far as the parking charges go. As long as the politicians continue to pretend that most of the country has city public transport infrastructure then they’re not going to address the problems of climate change. Rural/semi rural areas require the adoption of different strategies. This broad brush approach is just nonsense and will be widely seen for what it is.

      The whole worlds political class is really getting my goat so it is. Ruled by Donkeys right enough.

      Liked by 4 people

      1. not fair on donkeys. even if you had used ‘amoeba’I would have said that is unfair.
        they are only acting like greedy selfish hard of thinking humans – typical of (nearly) all politicians. 😀

        Liked by 3 people

      2. No words.

        Thanks to Brexit we vanquished the virus (although we have the highest death toll in Europe) and thanks to Brexit, Liz Truss has led the world again Putin, who, um, checks notes, took absolutely no notice of the world at all (possibly on the basis that he thought she was talking about somewhere else, given her O level geography must have been bought from a passing traveller).

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    2. Well, Niko. That is a very interesting question. given your connections, maybe you could hazard a guess.

      Nicola hasn’t dropped any hints to you has she?

      Like

    1. Well, there is that!

      But that is their prerogative.

      I heard that some Tory councils in England had gone bankrupt and been put into special measures.

      Like

      1. Like virtually every other country. Even Moldova, the poorest country in Europe is taking in the refugees.

        Shameful British attitude, I imagine down to the appalling Patel.

        Like

  4. The ‘Scottish’ Tories are not even ‘Scottish’ they are like Labour and Libdems (who?) branch offices of the London based parties awash in dirty money and corrupt to the core. As Ian Balackford tries to call the Tories out for their drity dealings in the commons so often,( while Johnson calls the SNP the ‘Scottish NATIONALIST party’ and the speaker does not pull him up on that whatsoever) and gets laughed at by the bullying, lying scheming corrupt Tories. They act as if in the old films where the audience is full of commoners and braying at the innocent victim, facing a wild tiger in the arena. The Tories and red Tories should all don blackened teeth it would be apt for them.
    God forbid (I’m not religious) any Tory or red Tory ever gets near the levers of power in Scotland, they’d lay waste to all of the progress made for the actual people, by the actual Scottish party the SNP.
    Scotland is an occupied country and needs independence to escape the corruption at the core of the English government.

    Saw a tweet yesterday by someone who had to have some furniture sent from the Cumbrfa to Scotland and was charged a ton of £’s because they were shipping it outwith ‘mainland England’!!! Yep.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. O/T

    This is of course incorrect on so many levels, but these things are put out there to a large audience, good some comments make some important points. I like the guys channel though some of it is interesting.

    I quite like this channel.

    Liked by 1 person

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