FIFE MSP Alex Rowley has warned that new powers to introduce a workplace parking levy “will be nothing more than a tax on workers.”

During the Committee stage of the Transport Bill, Mr Rowley voted to remove the workplace parking levy from the Bill, but this was defeated by SNP and Green MSPs.

This now means that councils can, if they so wish, introduce a charge to employers for workplace parking bays, although in practice many firms are expected to pass the cost on to their staff.

Labour put forward a bid in the Scottish Parliament this week to remove the parking tax from the bill entirely but it was not supported.

Commenting on why he supported removing the proposed tax, Mr Rowley said: “This is nothing more than a tax on workers, it is clear it will impact the pockets of employees most of all, particularly those who are unable to get public transport to work.

"Many areas in Fife are not well served by either bus or train, and taking a car is sometimes a necessity to get to work".

He added: “Taxing workers for parking in their workplace is not the right way to either tackle climate change or raise revenue for councils that are strapped of cash due to sweeping budget cuts.

“Instead, we need to fund local government properly rather than cut their budgets, and at the same time we need a green industrial revolution that creates green jobs, delivers more sustainable transport methods and cuts carbon emissions. "Taxing workers for parking at work is not the way to achieve this.”

Shadow Minister for Local Government, Alexander Stewart agreed and said: “I am bitterly disappointed that the SNP has agreed to back the workplace parking levy proposals as part of their back-door budget deal with the Scottish Greens.

"This Bill will hit many of the poorer and lower-paid workers from right across Fife".