Bed tax threat to Edinburgh revived

06 June 2008 by
Bed tax threat to Edinburgh revived

The spectre of a bed tax launching in Edinburgh moved a step closer this week when a council leader in the Scottish capital claimed hotel guests "wouldn't really notice" the extra levy on overnight stays.

The bed tax was initially mooted by the Scottish Arts Council two years ago as a possible means to help fund the festivals.

It was brought back on to the agenda this week by Councillor Jenny Dawe, who said the extra money would be "very useful" for the city and added that guests "wouldn't really notice" the price increase.

Grant Hearn, chief executive of Travelodge, which campaigned successfully alongside Caterer to dismiss prospects of a bed tax in England and is investing £50m in five new hotels in Edinburgh, hit out at the council.

"Bed tax is no more than a crude money-grab on visitors. I am once again astounded that Edinburgh Council wants more taxes, less visitors and reduced trade," he said.

"Tourism should be on the side of the consumer, striving to reduce costs and promote affordability."

Gavin Brown, Conservative MSP for the Lothians, also slammed the proposals.

"It is clear that the proposed bed tax has not been thought through and is simply a quick cash solution aimed to plug financial holes."

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By Daniel Thomas

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