A proposal to introduce some kind of ‘tourist tax’ to help fund public toilets and litter clearance drew a spirited response from readers.
Tom Hayward argued: ‘An issue with taxing tourists is that as one of only 4 EU states that charge full VAT on tourism and hospitality, others charge from as low as 3%, effectively we already have that because of this. How would you prove what litter was from a tourist and which was from locals, especially near roadsides?’ Willie MacDonald said: ‘Seems like a sensible idea so long as there is a mechanism which makes sure the monies raised are spent in the local area.’ Debra Brown Johnson lamented: ‘ The only problem with a “tourist tax” is it will be collected & sent to Westminster never to be seen again. Unless they come up with a means of retaining it in the local council.’
Vicki Burnett posted: ‘ So dreadful that people think it’s ok to litter up the beautiful countryside – we come to Scotland twice a year in our van and if we ever wild camp we always clear any litter we come across. I’d be happy to pay a ‘tax’ as a visitor – whatever helps the area and economy.’
Karen Anderson said: ‘ Yep, it should be the same as we’re charged going to Europe in tourist tax!! Although it’s not just tourists that leave the mess behind!!!’ David Wheater wrote: ‘Sadly, it does seem to be getting worse and it’s really broken my heart to visit lots of my special places around the country this year to find them strewn with litter and rubbish. I’m really at a loss as to how people can do this in such beautiful places. it’s a huge worry to me that we’re messing our own nest and there’s not a thing we can effectively do about it. Very sad.’
Robert McCall affirmed: ‘ Yes !! If you visit any of the Balearic Islands in Spain you are required to pay a “Tourist tax” for your accommodation at a rate of 2euros per night which then goes to the local government to protect the environment and assist with the upkeep of the islands.. Seems only fair that we do the same here.’
Rebecca McKenzie posted: ‘I just hate it when tourists and members of the public use bins that belong to businesses. The business does not pay for the public to use them, that’s what public bins are for.’