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MSP demands car park tax safeguards

Highlands and Islands MSP Jamie Halcro Johnston has told the Scottish Government that it must introduce safeguards to prevent islanders being unfairly taxed for parking at work.

The Scottish Conservative MSP made his comments as he tabled an amendment to the Transport Bill, which is being debated today, Wednesday, to require local authorities to carry out an island communities impact assessment before introducing a “car park tax” in an island community.

Mr Halcro Johnston said: “I fundamentally oppose the SNP’s car park tax.

“However, should any local authority decide to impose this additional tax, it is important that the impact on people living and working in our island communities is properly assessed before any introduction can happen.

“Our island communities often have few public transport alternatives to cars, and already have to bear the burden of high travel costs.  This means special consideration must be given to them, otherwise we will be making it even more challenging to sustain island communities in the future.

“Although I understand Orkney and Shetland have no current plans to introduce a car park tax in their areas, my amendment would ensure that any future decisions must be assessed in the spirit of the Islands Bill before charges could be introduced.

“I very much hope the Scottish Government will listen to the voices of islanders and agree to incorporate my proposal into their legislation.”

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