Scottish GPs could face £1.6m parking bill, warn Conservatives
Hundreds of GPs could be hit by the introduction of a car park tax in Scotland from which other NHS workers will be exempt, the Scottish Conservative party has claimed.
The introduction of a Workplace Parking Levy – estimated to be around £400 a year - was agreed as part of a budget deal with the Scottish Green Party.
NHS workers will not be affected by the tax, but so far no agreement has been reached for GPs, according to the Conservatives, who opposed the tax.
The party calculated that if each of the 793 independent GP practices in Scotland had parking spaces for five GPs, the bill could reach £1.6m.
So far there have been no details on whether GPs would have to pay the tax or not.
Scottish Conservative shadow health secretary Miles Briggs said the bill for GPs may actually be higher it as their calculations did not include other practice staff.
‘GP practices are under enough pressure without having to find money to pay this,’ he said.
A Scottish Government spokesperson said: ‘Plans to give powers to councils to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy, as already allowed in England, will come forward via an agreed Green Party amendment to the Transport (Scotland) Bill.
‘We have said that this is contingent on the exclusion of hospitals and NHS properties and will be engaging with stakeholders in the run-up to Stage 2 of the Bill to help shape the specifics on the Workplace Parking Levy for the amendment to the Bill.’
They added any charge would be at the discretion of local authorities, based on local circumstances.
BMA Scotland GP Committee chair Dr Andrew Buist said: ‘While there are not yet any details of this planned legislation, our clear expectation is that GP practices must be given the same exemption as other parts of the NHS.
‘GP practices are contracted by the NHS to deliver NHS services, including house calls to housebound patients, so it would be unjustifiable to treat practices differently to the wider NHS.’