Opposition urges council to force bed tax rethink

OPPOSITION councillors have urged the city council’s ruling coalition to meet with government ministers to pursuade a rethink on proposals for a bed tax.

There is cross-party support for a bed tax but the council has no power to introduce it and Scottish Government ministers have ruled it out. However, the Labour and Green groups have urged the administration to discuss a rethink with Tourism Minister Fergus Ewing. The move would see hotels charge visitors £1 or £2 per night towards promoting the city.

Labour leader, Councillor Andrew Burns, said it was popular with the public and parties and suggested council leaders Jenny Dawe and Steve Cardownie were unwilling to stand up to ministers.

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Green Councillor Steve Burgess, whose request to send a delegation to the parliament was turned down this week, said: “Recent comments from Fergus Ewing may not have been very supportive but he’ll only have heard the hoteliers’ outcry, he hasn’t heard the council’s case.”

Council leader Jenny Dawe told councillors this week that three informal meetings had already been held with Mr Ewing and that the same proposals could not be put forward again.