MSP calls for na­tional re­view of ‘tourist tax’ plan

The Press and Journal (Aberdeen and Aberdeenshire) - - LOCAL NEWS -

An SNP MSP has called on the Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment to hold a con­sul­ta­tion on the pro­posed in­tro­duc­tion of a “tourist tax” in the High­lands.

Caith­ness, Suther­land and Ross rep­re­sen­ta­tive Gail Ross re­vealed she had writ­ten to Fi­nance Sec­re­tary Derek Mackay about the pro­posal.

The Scot­tish Gov­ern­ment has stated it has no plans to give coun­cils the power to hit tourists with a “tran­sient vis­i­tor levy”, de­spite it be­ing com­mon in many other Euro­pean states.

Many busi­ness lead­ers have re­acted with alarm to the pro­posal, with one re­cent Fed­er­a­tion of Small Busi­nesses sur­vey show­ing 73% of firms in the High­lands were op­posed to the move.

But coun­cils in High­land, Aberdeen and Ed­in­burgh have been lob­by­ing for the pow­ers, and joined forces while giv­ing ev­i­dence to a Holy­rood com­mit­tee this week.

Yes­ter­day, Ms Ross said it should be the sub­ject of a na­tional re­view.

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