A simple way to drive away jobs

2009

The city of Nottingham in England, wasn't that Robin Hood's stomping grounds? Surely, you remember Robin Hood, the chap who liked to steal from the rich and give to the poor? Well, it seems that the Nottingham City Council has got part of that formula down pat; though they'll keep the money, thank you very much.

Some time ago, I wrote about a scheme in the UK where the plan was to charge companies a tax for providing their employees with parking space. The results have been disappointing, but Nottingham City is ready to give it a go.

These taxes aren't huge sums of money, but enough to be a nuisance for many companies. At the moment, companies are facing £185 (about $140) per parking spot (if you have more than 10 spots). In 2014, that amount is set to almost double and reaches £350 ($250).

Whatever principles may be at play in this plan, it's hard to believe that any city would actually go along with this nonsense in the middle of a global economic meltdown. As the article linked to in this post rightly points out, such strategies will only make companies flee the city. Apparently it hasn't yet dawned on Nottingham City that no one else has gone for this mad idea? Talk about a stimulus to *not* hire people!

I have to wonder what prompts governments to want to propose such taxes. In the current economic climate, it's not hard to imagine that most companies are looking to tighten their belts and save money. Employees need to get to work, and frankly, public transportation isn't always an option for people.

Will companies just pass along these costs to their employees - or their customers? I guess that time will tell if Nottingham City learns any lessons from this. In the meantime, perhaps a nice walk to work may be in order.

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