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Ex-council leader backs Edinburgh hotel tourist tax

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Ex-council leader backs Edinburgh hotel tourist tax

A hotel tax in the Capital would boost tourism, create jobs and strengthen the economy, according to former city council leader Donald Anderson.

The idea of a tourist tax – of £1 a night on hotel bills, for example – is controversial, with many in the tourism industry warning it would damage the sector, while supporters argue it would bring in much-needed cash for investment.

The Scottish Government has said it has no plans for such a tax.

But Mr Anderson said it was “a significant gap” in Finance Secretary Derek Mackay’s budget unveiled in the Scottish Parliament last month.

Writing in the Evening News’ sister paper, The Scotsman, Mr Anderson said: “This is a small tax on the visitor. It would create resources that would ensure that our festivals can compete effectively in a tourism market which is the world’s biggest and one of its fastest growing industries.

READ MORE: Donald Anderson: How a tourist tax would help Edinburgh stay great

“There are critics, not least from the hotel trade which rightly points to higher levels of VAT here than in mainland Europe. However, any tourism tax pales into insignificance against the variation of the ‘rack rate’ in modern hotels.

“Anyway, it’s hardly a tax, rather it’s a mechanism to secure future investment.”

https://www.edinburghnews.scotsman.com/news/business/ex-council-leader-backs-edinburgh-tourist-tax-1-4652355

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