Greens say change of First Minster should signal change on visitor levy

Green councillors in Edinburgh have called on the city council to renew its case for a transient visitor levy as new First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon seeks to refresh her ministerial team and policy priorities. 

The levy, which could raise up to £10 million for city services and to support the culture sector, requires powers to be granted by Scottish ministers. To date, ministers have declined to support that case.

Green group convenor, Cllr Steve Burgess said:

Steve Burgegss“I don’t doubt that the new First Minister will already have a long list of demands on her time. The city council has, in the past, pressed the case for a transient visitor levy and been rebuffed. With a new ministerial team imminent, it’s a chance to review previous policy stances and give the council powers to raise more revenue to benefit the city.

“It may not be the top of the First Minister’s list but it could be delivered very swiftly.

“From today’s council debate on council priorities, it is now clear that there is considerable support across the chamber for a levy, with senior Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrat councillors all backing Green calls for a levy to be introduced.

“There is a short window of opportunity that we need to seize.”