Glasgow sunbathers see red over plans to levy ‘taps aff tax’ to help fund city’s parks

By Shirley Knott at

Plans are well advanced to levy a controversial new tax on park users.

The charge is already being dubbed the ‘taps aff tax’.

Sunbathers in Kelvingrove

Rich pickings: sunseekers will have to pay to use the grass

It will be paid by people who use the grass to sunbath, relax or have impromptu parties with loud music.

Payments will come into effect this summer – or as soon as the temperature reaches 21 degree Celsius.

Dumbarton Road

Teams of specially-recruited wardens will tour the parks to collect the levy – the Parkland In Sun & Heat charge.

Bathers can either hand over cash or use pre-paid tokens available from a 24-hour newsagents on Dumbarton Road.

A level of charge has not been set as yet – but one source suggested it could be levied on a sliding scale.

Parkland

Lush: sun worshippers like these people in Dawsholm Park can pay with tokens

Anything over 21 degrees C and up to 25 degrees would be charged at £50p per person.

Temperatures above 25 and up to 30 degrees C will cost park users £67p a go.

If the temperatures go over 30 degrees – well, sunbathers will be hit with a £1 levy.

A long-hot summer could be expensive for sunworshippers, but a real money-spinner for the authorities.

Cucumber sandwiches

Similar taxes have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds in cities like Sydney in Australia and Miami in the US.

Money there has been used to pay for beach clean-ups.

The income in Glasgow would be considerably smaller – given the city’s tendency for cloud, gloom and rain.

But climate change and the prospect of hotter summers could increase yields – even if the increased costs of flooding and severe storms obliterate any gains in the short-term.

With the unwieldy and vast bureaucracy needed to gather the charge, it is estimated that the new system may break even within 20 years.

A man with no top on

Model: if this man was in Glasgow he would be paying the park users’ tax

Economics professor Paul Theotherone, from the University of Uttoxeter, has advised officials on the new tax.

He said: “We think this is a really clever idea.

“In the long, long term it might just benefit the citizens of this city, possibly – one day.

‘B****y tax’

“All we need is plenty of sun, the effects of climate change and willing sunbathers.”

Glasgow park user Hugh Morris, 45, was not so sure about the levy.

“Good luck to them – I’ll not be paying any b****y tax.”