Tourism tax bad for ev­ery­one

Snowy vista

Stirling Observer - - BRUCE CRAWFORD -

Dear Ed­i­tor

I noted in the Ob­server of De­cem­ber 14, 2018, that Stir­ling Coun­cil’s leader Scott Farmer re­fused to rule out the in­tro­duc­tion of a tourism tax al­though he did add that any de­ci­sion would only be taken af­ter anal­y­sis and con­sul­ta­tion.

My ad­vice is that Stir­ling Coun­cil should never con­sider in­tro­duc­ing such a tax as it is sure to hit small and medium size busi­nesses in the area.

It is, to my mind, a tax too far and has the po­ten­tial to ir­repara­bly dam­age the lo­cal econ­omy.

Busi­nesses nei­ther want nor need yet an­other tax or the bu­reau­cratic night­mare of fur­ther ad­min­is­tra­tion and ac­count­ing that will un­doubt­edly go with it.

From what I un­der­stand, the li­censed, ho­tel and bed and break­fast trades don’t want it and nei­ther does the Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses which re­cently de­scribed the levy pro­pos­als as “un­wanted” and “po­ten­tially dam­ag­ing” which is some­thing that both I and the Scot­tish Con­ser­va­tive Party agree with.

It is ex­tremely im­por­tant , there­fore, that ev­ery­one gets in­volved with any con­sul­ta­tion process re­gard­ing the tourism tax as the more voices that are heard, the more that the SNP Gov­ern­ment will be com­pelled to heed the feel­ings of those on whom this tax will im­pact.

It will be also be a dis­in­cen­tive for al­ready fi­nan­cially- stretched fam­i­lies think­ing of vis­it­ing the area and com­pound the ef­fect of the ex­tremely high lev­els of busi­ness rates through­out Scot­land.

Fur­ther­more, what as­sur­ances do we have that rev­enue from such a tax will find its way back into the tourism sec­tor? At the mo­ment, there’s is none.

The econ­omy across the Stir­ling area re­lies heav­ily on their ex­cel­lent ho­tels and li­censed premises, so it is clear that this ad­di­tional tax would be bad for our com­mu­ni­ties, busi­nesses and our val­ued vis­i­tors.

Alexan­der Ste­wart, MSP for Mid Scot­land and Fife

Kim Proven took this pic­ture of the week­end’s snow­fall out­side her Briar Cot­tages home, off the A85, at Loc­hearn­head

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