PUBLIC sector bodies face a bill of at least £5 million under plans to introduce a new workplace parking tax, Scottish Labour has said.

The party said public bodies accountable to the Scottish Parliament have at least 37,082 parking spaces, of which 10,764 are exclusively available to workers.

If each of these worker-only spaces is charged at £417 – the amount employers in Nottingham pay – this would leave them with costs of £5,036,526.

The figures were uncovered by Labour MSP Jackie Baillie using Freedom of Information laws.

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She said: “The workplace parking levy has been sold as a new revenue stream to fund struggling public services - but in reality it will hit public sector budgets for £5 million they simply don’t have, thanks to Tory austerity passed on by the SNP.

“When cash-strapped public bodies are handed the bill, it’s more than likely that – like other employers hit by the car park tax – they will pass it on to their workers.”

She said Scottish Labour will vote against the plans when they come before Holyrood on Wednesday, as part of the wide-ranging Transport Bill.

The controversial proposals followed a last-minute Budget deal between the SNP Government and the Scottish Greens, which secured £34 billion-worth of financial plans for 2019/20.

Similar proposals in Nottingham resulted in charges of more than £400 a year per parking space. While this is charged to employers with 11 or more spaces, they can choose to pass it on to their staff.

Scottish Labour has tabled a series of amendments to the Transport Bill in a bid to thwart the plans, including one to remove the tax altogether.

If this fails, further amendments seek to exempt lower-paid workers and single parents, as well as the drivers of ultra-low emission cars.

Plans published in May stated councils will have the option to set their own exemptions for workers.

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A Scottish Government spokesman said: “The workplace parking levy is a power for local authorities.

“There is no requirement to introduce and local authorities have wide discretion to apply exemptions as they see fit.

“NHS premises, hospices and Blue Badge holders will be exempt. Estimates of costs are highly speculative and not based on any proposed scheme. A local authority proposing a levy must carry out transparent consultation and impact assessment of those affected.”