OVER the last fifteen years, this SNP government have produced more than their fair share of ill-thought-out ideas.

But a scheme that could result in anyone who drives to their workplace being hit with an additional tax – the so-called Workplace Parking Levy – is surely one of their worst ideas yet.

This policy will allow councils to introduce a tax on every employer that provides parking spaces for employees, effectively meaning that anybody who commutes by car would face significant extra costs – with the only alternative being that businesses pick up these costs themselves.

The SNP forced through the required legislation for this tax back in 2019, giving them plenty of time to see sense and quietly U-turn on this proposal.

But the 2022-23 budget announced in December confirmed that, on the contrary, the SNP are stubbornly pushing ahead with this policy.

And stubborn is a word that summarises the SNP's approach to this tax all too well. Back when this shambolic scheme was being debated in parliament, I joined my parliamentary colleagues in supporting several constructive changes to the scheme which would have made it less damaging by exempting certain groups of workers from it. But the SNP refused to listen and pushed this policy through parliament regardless.

Fast forward to 2022, and we are now faced with the prospect of this tax being implemented in the very near future.

And it is only now that the SNP have been forced to admit there will be no limit whatsoever on how much businesses will be taxed for each parking space they provide.

Of course, it is possible that this scheme won't be implemented in rural councils such as Clackmannanshire.

But this won't help the many thousands of rural car drivers across Scotland who face commuting into Glasgow or Edinburgh only to be taxed to park their cars at work.

Ultimately, this Car Park Tax is yet another scheme thrown together by a Scottish Government that not only doesn't understand rural communities, for whom commuting by car is their only option, but doesn't care about them either.

Not content with abandoning their promises to improve road infrastructure, this unashamedly anti-motorist SNP government is going one step further to punish those who dare to commute by car.

We are yet to see just how many people across Scotland will be hit by this policy. But we do know that, in many cases, it won't be large companies picking up the bill for this policy.

Rather, it will be care workers, teachers, police officers and all manner of vital shift workers – none of whom can afford to be met with even higher commuting costs, and all of whom have been completely ignored by this SNP government.

The Scottish Conservatives have opposed this scheme from its inception and will continue to do so going forward.

My party will head into May's local elections on a platform of opposing the introduction of this tax in all circumstances.

Because whilst this SNP government may have long-given up on rural motorists, this is one group of people whose corner I will continue to fight.