Nursery free parking under threat

The Scottish Government reached an agreement with the Greens to get the budget spending plans through for the coming year. Council tax payers across Scotland are set to face higher bills from April 2019. Local authorities will be able to raise council tax by almost 5 per cent, levy new fees on businesses who offer parking to employees and introduce a “tourist tax” on visitors to their area.

Councils across the country will be able to increase people’s bills by 4.79 per cent this year instead of the 3 per cent cap that was originally proposed. This will result in occupants of an average band D property seeing their annual bill rise by almost £58 if their council chooses to raise taxes in line with the new cap.

People who park at work may also face extra costs after the announcement of plans to introduce a Workplace Parking Levy, which charges businesses a fee for every parking space they provide. Similar schemes already in operation in cities in England see businesses charged more than £400 per space. Rather than meeting the cost themselves, they can pass this onto the workers using them.

The 5p charge on plastic bags given out at shops across Scotland will also be doubled to a minimum of 10p “at the earliest opportunity”, with a charge for disposable cups also set to be brought in.

Any private childcare facility that offers parking spaces to staff may have a considerable annual bill to pay the local authority in Scotland. It’s not known if some local authority council run childcare nurseries would levy this parking tax on public staff employees.

Workplace pension contribution increases

The government has set minimum levels of contributions that must be paid to the workplace pension. Employers must actively budget for the additional staffing costs of the new pension contributions increases from 6th April 2019.

The current rates under automatic enrolment are that the employer contributes 2% of the qualifying earnings and the employee contributes 3%. Earnings from employment can include salary, overtime, commission and bonuses. The new contribution rates will increase to 3% for the employer and 5% for the employee.

All employers must factor this increase into their budgets and make employees aware of their increase in contributions in a timely manner. The 8% total contribution may in some instances be paid by the employer if they wish to meet the burden of this extra cost.

The government pays into the pension scheme by giving tax relief on your contributions. The tax relief is at the basic rate of tax 20% and the pension provider claims the additional tax relief on your behalf and adds it to your pension pot.

We operate the government scheme NEST on behalf of our payroll clients. Please give us a call on 01698 421774 or 07543019957 if you wish to discuss setting up and operating this scheme.