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24 Aug 2009

Earlier this month, the government alarmed commuters, many of whom use fuel cards, by backing plans for a new tax on parking.


A pilot scheme in Nottingham – lucky them – will see companies with more than ten parking spaces for their staff charged £250 for each space in the first year, rising to £350 in the second year.


The scheme aims to reduce congestion by deterring motorists from making unnecessary journeys burning fuel, and the funds raised will reportedly be used to fund public transport.


A laudable aim from one point of view, but – and this is the crucial bit – employers will be permitted to pass the levy onto employees using the spaces. This is clearly, in the words of the AA, a “tax on parking”.


As if fuel tax and commercial car parking rates weren’t already steep – and getting steeper – employees fortunate enough to work for companies with private parking facilities may soon have to pay £350 a year just to leave their cars outside the office. Let’s face it; streets with abundant free parking are few and far between in any town or city.


Many workers have no choice but to drive to their place of work – especially if it is in a remote location, with inadequate public transport links. Shift workers will be particularly badly hit.


When will the government cease to treat motorists as a cash cow to be endlessly milked?


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