A lot of chat this week about the work-place parking tax that Nottingham City Council is ploughing ahead with despite near universal condemnation.

As with the introduction of any unpopular scheme the way it’s dressed up is all important to whoever’s doing the introducing. I can’t believe that the city’s council considers 0.5% of turnover a small amount for business to absorb.

To put that in perspective, if you’re a small business with a £10m turnover, then it will mean £50,000 less profit. That’s £50,000 for your workers to park on land that you’ve already paid for.

The scheme also got us thinking about ways round the tax. Our favourite, if probably illegal, plan involved leasing your office parking to a third party who then operated it as a car park business. And because car park businesses aren’t taxed under the scheme your employees can park at a lower cost to the taxation.

Or the simpler cheat would, because the tax is per parking space, be to have very large parking spaces that you can fit two or more cars in.

The other, yet to be answered, question is what happens if you’re a large business that’s not doing very well. You’ve got a large car park say for a few hundred cars, but it’s only ever a quarter full. What do you have to do to show you’re not using all the spaces? Just cone it off or do you have to go as far as grassing it over?