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Nottingham's folly: Forum slams council over parking tax

The Forum of Private Business is responding to Nottingham City Council's new business car park tax. Forum Policy Advisor, Robert Downes, said: "Quite frankly, we think it's disgusting that a council could approve a tax like this in the current climate. It represents an attack on not just businesses but hardworking employees too, who in many cases will no doubt be told they have to pick up the tab. Few people can spare that kind of money.

"It also sends out a clear signal to anyone thinking of setting up business in Nottingham, and that's ‘look elsewhere'. It's highly likely this tax will see firms haemorrhage from Nottingham as a result, further harming the future prospects of the city.

"In our view, it's simply a stealth tax which will have a disproportionate impact on small businesses. It's the equivalent of charging homeowners to park on their own driveways, and will increase parking problems in town centres and cities as displaced motorists seek alternative parking provision.

"Businesses already contribute enormous amounts to public services through existing taxes such as business rates. And while councils' finances are under pressure, this is a very short-sighted idea. Companies will understandably want to avoid Nottingham, meaning jobs, investment and therefore tax revenue will end up elsewhere.

"What we might well see now is firms looking to set up in the East Midlands may now look at fringe areas around Nottingham. So the likes of Derby, Mansfield and Loughborough could do well out of Nottingham City Council's folly."

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