No Stealth Tax on Parking
Small Business News – 2nd March 2009
The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has called on small firms to sign a petition opposing Government plans to introduce a tax on workplace car parking spaces.
Branded a ‘stealth tax’ by the business lobby group, the proposed Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) will require all businesses to register car parking spaces with their local authority.
Currently, there is no one system for business parking, but under the new proposals firms requiring ten spaces or more will have to pay a hefty fee for each space.
Although the Workplace Parking Levy is still in consultation, Nottingham City Council has already signed up to operate the scheme and plans to charge £185 for each workplace parking space in 2010, rising to £350 per space by 2014.
According to BCC director general David Frost, UK business could face a parking bill of more than £34 billion if every eligible council chooses to adopt the WPL.
“The Government must recognise the financial burden businesses are already under and rule out any possibility of councils taking up the scheme,” he said.
“If councils go ahead with this oppressive tax, companies and employees will be hit hard at a time when they least need it. There is a real risk that towns and cities will see firms refusing to invest and in a worst case scenario relocating elsewhere. This isn’t a risk worth taking for a scheme which will not help reduce congestion.”
However, a Department for Transport spokesperson said that plans for the WPL had yet to be confirmed, and that it would be up to individual local authorities to decide whether the levy was right for them.
“So far, Nottingham City Council is the only authority to have submitted plans,” he said.
The consultation is due to complete on 5th March.
To sign the online petition, visit www.britishchambers.org.uk/6798219244930711693/no-stealth-tax-on-parking.html