Green councillor hits back at SNP timidity over bed tax

Edinburgh Green councillor, Steve Burgess, has hit back at SNP timidity over a so-called bed tax for the capital.

Earlier this month Councillor Burgess secured the support of the City Council to investigate a modest levy on visitor bednights in the city in order to fund some of the services which attract visitors from around the world.

However,  SNP minister, Fergus Ewing has now taken the view that councils have no powers to introduce such a levy.

Cllr Burgess criticised the Scottish Government for not respecting the democratic decisions made by local councillors, adding:

“It’s hugely short-sighted if Alex Salmond’s government is going to prevent us from raising what would be a very small levy on each visitor but millions overall to help maintain the attractiveness of the City and it’s festivals and attractions.

“This was a democratic decision of Edinburgh Council to go forward with a visitor levy. Whilst we Greens seek devolution of powers to the lowest democratic level, it seems Salmond’s government may only want powers devolved to themselves.

“The Government must justify any moves to block the visitor levy”

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