A Tourist Tax could deliver a £2.5 million windfall for Edinburgh just during the Edinburgh Festival, analysis from Scottish Labour suggests.
Labour would devolve the power to local government to charge a Tourist Tax on each over-night stay per person, as a way of raising additional revenue and ensuring more economic power is held locally.
Analysis of the most up to date Edinburgh festival visitor numbers suggests a £2 per night charge could rake in £2.5million for the capital from the Festival alone.
There is growing support for Labour’s Tourist Tax policy, with the Convention of Scottish Local Authorities (Cosla) supporting the policy as well as Edinburgh City Council.
Labour said with tourism becoming a booming industry for Scotland, now was the time to introduce the measure to deliver more funding for cash strapped local services.
Labour Shadow Cabinet Secretary for Communities Monica Lennon said:
“Scotland’s public services are under increased pressure after the SNP government’s brutal £1.5 billion of austerity cuts to local councils.
Our local communities are in serious need of additional funding, which means we need to urgently look at new ways for local authorities to raise revenues, including a tourist tax.
Labour analysis suggests that Edinburgh could have raised £2.5million during the festival alone. That is money that could be ploughed back into vital local services.
With Holyrood due to return next week, Labour will press the SNP government to finally give our local councils more economic power to raise additional revenues and protect services.”