THE Scottish Government’s plans for a workplace car parking levy are not going well.

Increasingly the proposal – a concession to the Scottish Greens in a bid to secure passage for Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s budget – is looking overly hasty and ill-considered.

The idea is that councils will be given the power to charge employees who make use of parking at their workplace, and it is touted as an example of government devolving power to local level. However ministers immediately subverted that by deciding NHS premises would be exempt. This leaves councils in the unhappy position of having to mirror this for employees such as teachers or social workers – or explain why these staff are not as important as their NHS counterparts.

Then again, if swathes of public sector workers end up being exempt, employees in the private sector, especially the low-paid, will wonder why they are seemingly the only ones being asked to pay up to £500 a year for the privilege of getting themselves to work.

Now, the Scottish Conservatives claim that businesses failing to license parking bays could be fined a punitive £200 a day. This is based on the experiences of Nottingham, where the city council is the only one in the UK to currently impose a car parking levy.

It is true that we cannot go on hand-wringing over climate change and the failure of government to act, if every initiative to improve the environment and cut emissions is greeted with howls of disapproval.

Some of the policies needed to address the climate crisis will not be popular and it is vital that politicians show leadership.

But, handicapped by the lack of any kind of economic impact assessment, Mr Mackay is struggling to convince people that the the car parking levy is fair or even workable. He should pause and reflect before attempting to impose a policy which is threatening to choke on its own omissions.