Proposals aimed at saving a government department millions of pounds have angered some residents.
The Department of Infrasructure has issued a discussion document with a raft of proposals to save £5 million of its budget. Proposals include an end to free disc parking in Douglas and other towns in the island, charging public sector employees for parking at work and charging for residents’ car parking permits.
David Buttery, who is a Douglas resident, said there were already many anomalies in the parking system in Douglas.
Referring to the proposal in the latest DoI consultation document, he said: ‘I was furious about it. We are already subsidising people from around the island who come in to Douglas every day and pay a fraction of the rates that we do.
‘Then there are people in outlying areas of Douglas like Farmhill who also drive into Douglas and still have to pay for chargable parking.
‘The government has lost revenue but rather than cut their cloth accordingly, they are trying to get money out of the already hard-pressed population but it won’t raise income tax because it is a sacred cow.
‘They are just trying to find ways to bleed people and why is Douglas bearing the brunt of this? The island is only about 30 miles by 10, it’s tiny.
‘For Douglas rate payers there certainly should be no on-street parking charge: we already pay enough. Is this about raising revenue? I think so – or is it about making sure everyone has somewhere to park?
Councillor David Ashford said his personal view was that imposing parking charges would be unfair on people who did not have any off-road parking, especially as they were not guaranteed a space even if they paid for a permit.
He said elderly residents who relied on their cars would also be hit yet again by more expense.