Birmingham Conservatives have slammed the Labour Council’s plans to introduce a new ‘work tax’ on businesses and employees in the City

Birmingham Conservatives have slammed the Labour Council’s plans to introduce a new ‘work tax’ on businesses and employees in the City as the City Council announced plans to seek to introduce a workplace parking levy which would see an additional tax placed on every parking space used for employment purposes.  The move is in addition to the travel tax that will be imposed by Birmingham Labour next year.

 

Councillor Timothy Huxtable (Con, Hall Green South), Shadow Cabinet Member for Transport and Environment said

“Labour in Birmingham and are yet again hammering hard working people who need to use their cars for work. This policy will do little to cut congestion or pollution but will badly affect businesses and hit employees in the pocket. As with their regressive charging clean air zone, we know that this tax will hit the lowest paid the hardest, whilst also increasing on street parking, which we know increases congestion and pollution. Without the proper transport plans in place in advance, this regressive tax will be hugely damaging and Labour should instead be concentrating on working with the West Midlands Mayor Andy Street on his ambition to build a genuinely world class public transport system to make up for the lack of foresight and investment by Birmingham Labour throughout the 1990s when cities such as Manchester were developing theirs.”

 

Councillor Huxtable also highlighted the impact on schools and local centres  

“The new tax would also be levied on schools meaning they either have to absorb the costs within their stretched budgets or pass it on to the teachers, undoing the well-earned pay rise they have been given and making it more difficult to attract quality teachers to the city. A city wide levy would also negatively impact on suburban areas and district centres where people are more likely to need their car to reach.”

 

Councillor Robert Alden (Con, Erdington) the Leader of the Conservative Group on the City Council, highlighted how proposals for a workplace parking levy have been mooted before, only for Labour to dismiss any criticism as scare-mongering. Cllr Alden said:

“As with the charging clean air zone 'travel tax', which the Labour Council strongly denied before the 2018 election, this is an idea that they did not have the honesty, bravery or integrity to put before the electorate. When plans for a levy were previously found buried in a consultation document, the Executive said there was no truth in the suggestion one would be introduced at that time or in the future. Just like when they promised not to increase council tax when taking control in 2012, Labour have shown they simply cannot be trusted and will look to use every opportunity to reach into the pockets of hard working Brummies.”

A similar proposal has also recently been introduced by the SNP in Scotland, which has attracted criticism across the political spectrum, including Scottish Labour. Cllr Huxtable added:

“Scottish Labour, rightly described the SNP proposal as a ‘desperate sticking plaster over the gaping hole in the council budget’ which is a position that neatly sums up the situation in Birmingham where years of financial mismanagement by Labour have led to them increasingly looking to find ways to tax hard working people more and more.”