Holyrood News

Car Park Tax subject to VAT

The SNP’s Car Park Tax is facing yet more criticism as the Scottish Conservatives reveal that, if passed on to employees, the tax would be subject to VAT.
This would take the cost to almost £500 for each taxpayer driving to work.

Car park tax to hit lower paid workers

The SNP’s car park tax will hit lower paid workers significantly, new analysis has confirmed.
Finance secretary Derek Mackay wants to impose a charge on people who take their cars to work, which could amount to more than £400 a year.

More than 10k would dodge jail under 'soft-touch' SNP plan

More than 10,000 criminals – including those convicted of homicide and attempted murder – would have avoided prison last year under SNP plans to cut sentences of less than 12 months.

Analysis by the Scottish Conservatives has found that there were 10,104 jail terms of a year or less handed down in 2016/17.

As part of her Programme for Government, First Minister Nicola Sturgeon said she wanted to introduce a presumption against such punishments, instead giving criminals fines or a community sentence.

However, had that been in place for 2016/17, it would have seen two people convicted of homicide, 35 of sexual assault and 99 of attempted murder/serious assault walk free.

Ambulance response times almost double in 4 years

The average time it takes an ambulance first responder to reach the scene of an emergency has almost doubled in the space of four years, new research has shown.

In the last three months, it took first responders an average of 15 minutes 28 seconds to arrive following a 999 call.

Over the same period five years ago, the mean response time was 8 minutes 49 seconds.

The figures were obtained under Freedom of Information by the Scottish Conservatives.

They also show huge disparity across the country when it comes to average response times.

Push for free finance textbooks in schools

A scheme to provide free textbooks to schools on personal finance would boost education and help the economy further down the line, the Scottish Conservatives have said.

Shadow economy secretary Dean Lockhart wants to mirror a scheme in England which will see half a million books handed to schools there by September this year.

He said the initiative could be done in collaboration with business, and for limited Scottish Government funding would have a positive impact on youngsters.

It would also go some way to reversing the SNP administration’s reputation as an anti-business government, he added.

South of the border, money-saving expert Martin Lewis – in partnership with education charities - has pledged £200,000 to help children learn about savings, insurance and debt.

9 out of 10 bike thieves get away with it

The overwhelming majority of bicycle thefts in Scotland go unsolved, new figures have shown.

Nearly 90 per cent of reports of a stolen pedal bike went without a culprit being found in the last year.

The figures obtained by the Scottish Conservatives revealed there were 5394 recorded crimes for bike thefts in the 10 months to January 31, the equivalent of 17 a day.

However, just 548 of these were recorded as “detected”, according to the Police Scotland data.

The number of thefts is on course to be significantly higher than 2016/17, when 5424 incidents were reported for the entire year.