An SNP MSP who has consistently voiced his opposition to the hated car park tax today ensured the policy can progress through parliament.
Despite previously saying “I do not agree” with the plan and that it was “unfair”, Richard Lyle ensured the SNP and Greens could use their majority on the Rural Economy and Connectivity to force the Workplace Parking Levy through.
It means workers across the country now face being charged up to £500 a year simply for taking their car to work.
The pro-independence MSPs also voted a raft of amendments tabled by the Scottish Conservatives which would have protected the police, healthcare workers, teachers, charity staff and people on benefits from paying the charge.
And Mr Lyle gave his backing to the plan despite objecting to it in other forums.
The Uddingston and Bellshill MSP previously told Holyrood: “I contend that, as a motorist, I pay road tax, petrol duty and insurance. Do you not agree that the workplace parking levy is an unfair tax on me and other motorists?”
He also remarked: “I’m sorry, but I do not agree with charging somebody who is on a low wage £400 a year.”
Yet today he changed his tune, and decided the controversial policy was worth voting for.
This is despite the repeated criticism from business, motoring groups and the police.
Scottish Conservative transport spokesman Jamie Greene said:
“Richard Lyle made statement after statement pointing out the flaws of this tax and how damaging it will be for workers and motorists.
“Yet, for some reason known only to him, he’s now decided to vote in favour of it.
“That’s cowardly behaviour, and tells you everything you need to know about the so-called progressive SNP.
“He had the opportunity to bring this hated policy down, but instead waved through this bad law on the orders of his nationalist bosses.
“It’s pathetic enough that the SNP-Green MSPs forced through this ridiculous tax on people driving to work.
“But the fact they rejected amendment after amendment seeking to protect low-paid and public sector workers, shift workers, the disabled and people on benefits from this tax is utterly shameful of them.
“Not only can you not trust the SNP with the economy, you now can’t even trust them to look after Scotland’s vital workforce and the Scottish Conservatives will fight this tax every step of the way.”
Notes to editors:
To see some of Richard Lyle’s previous remarks on the car park tax, visit: