Workplace parking levy

'Tax on work' could cost £3.4 billion

6 February 2009

Drivers and businesses across England could face a massive £3.4 billion bill for simply using their own car parking spaces to park at work.

This cost could become a reality if councils decide to apply for the controversial Workplace Parking Levy (WPL) according to the Automobile Association and the British Chambers of Commerce (BCC).

Nottingham City Council has already applied to hit businesses with the 'tax on work' and a final decision from the Secretary of State for Transport, Geoff Hoon, is imminent.

A Department for Transport consultation into the WPL heightens the risk of the scheme's national roll out as it will enable councils across England to apply for take up of the scheme.

The WPL will require all businesses to register workplace parking spaces. However, businesses with ten spaces or more, will also suffer a financial strain because each parking space will have to be paid for.

The levy will start at £185 in 2010, but will rise to £350 by 2014 (using the blueprint from Nottingham). Companies will either have to pay the tax, knock down car parks and rip out parking places or charge their employees to park at work.

The British Chambers of Commerce (BCC) has calculated that if every eligible council covered by the consultation adopted the WPL, then businesses will be left with huge costs amounting to £3.4 billion.

The AA is calling for the Secretary of State to reject Nottingham City Council's application and to abolish the blueprint for this 'work tax' nationally.

With the economy now in recession and firms struggling with cash-flow, the tax will be detrimental for companies, towns and local economies.

Comment

Edmund King, AA president said: "A workplace parking levy is just a 'tax on work'.

"The last thing that employees, and indeed employers, want is a tax on work in the current financial and economic climate.

The British Chambers of Commerce has launched an online petition against the Workplace Parking Levy "Many employees who work shifts or live in areas without adequate public transport have to drive – the workplace parking levy will place an unfair burden on people just trying to go about their daily lives. We are concerned that local authorities might start to look at this levy as a way of increasing revenue now that voters in Manchester have given a resounding 'No' to congestion charging. This tax will do nothing to cut congestion but potentially could do much to increase unemployment."

Commenting on the WPL, Director General of the British Chambers of Commerce, David Frost, 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."

The BCC has launched a petition against the WPL which the AA is encouraging businesses and drivers to sign.

Sign the BCC petition against the WPL »

Join the discussion in the AA zone

 

9 February 2009