Letters: Market jobs boom would make tourist tax a fair deal

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The People 1st skills development agency has announced that the tourism and hospitality industry will have to create 10,000 jobs per year until 2017 in order to cope with the cultural and sporting events in Scotland already planned.

The People 1st skills development agency has announced that the tourism and hospitality industry will have to create 10,000 jobs per year until 2017 in order to cope with the cultural and sporting events in Scotland already planned.

That’s 50,000-60,000 jobs. I can’t say how pleased I am at what good shape the industry is in, and look forward to their spokespeople ceasing to whinge about the now inevitable small scale tourist tax it can obviously afford to pay.

At the moment the benefits of state and city-funded or subsidised cultural events fall mainly to a narrow band in the private sector ... if we all have to share the pain when times are bad, we can all share the profit when they are good.

There may be logistic difficulties in the collection of the tax, but, after all, the people of our tourist and hospitality industry are men and women of goodwill ... I’m sure they will find ingenious ways to overcome them.

David Fiddimore, Calton Road, Edinburgh

Wait .. change of mind on its way

THROUGH the pages of your newspaper, on September 19 the Lib Dem council leader, Jenny Dawe, said a public inquiry into the tram project in the run-up to next May’s local elections would descend into a political blame game and that she wanted the inquiry to be put off until later in the project.

A mere nine days later, on September 28, the same Jenny Dawe said she is ready for an immediate public inquiry to get under way on Edinburgh’s tram project.

And politicians wonder why the public don’t believe a word they say!

Julie Marshall, Calder Gardens, Edinburgh

Time for banks to pay back debt

THE proposed EU tax on financial transactions, which could raise 57 billion euros (£49.5bn) a year and force banks to make a “contribution back to society” as well as discourage speculative trading, is to be welcomed.

The transaction tax – often known as a Tobin tax or Robin Hood tax – reinforces the fact that it is time for banks to pay back their immense debt to society.

In the last three years member states have granted aid and provided guarantees of 4.6 trillion euros (£4tn) to the financial sector, and it is proposed that a minimum tax rate on trading of bonds and shares would be set at 0.1 per cent and 0.01 per cent for derivative products and be levied on trades where at least one of the institutions is based in the EU.

A proportion of the money raised from this could also be used for international aid purposes.

Such a tax would also help rebalance the economy, address the under-taxing of the financial sector and reward long-term investment.

While such a move will be opposed by the UK Government it is interesting to note that we already have something akin to a transaction tax – stamp duty – which is paid by the sector with hardly a murmur.

Alex Orr, Leamington Terrace, Edinburgh

Chance to speak out did not come

TONI Giugliano’s letter (September 29) attacks my campaign to save Edinburgh’s military bases but in doing so he pays scant regard to the facts. He asks why I failed to speak during the debate.

Not all MPs are called to speak following Ministerial statements.

I made every effort to speak in the debate, and when I wasn’t called to do so, I met with Ministers in the Treasury, MoD and Scotland Office to make my concerns known in the most forceful of terms.

Mike Crockart, MP for Edinburgh West

Patients should appreciate care

I’M 85 and having gone through various hospitals, St Johns, Edinburgh Royal and the Western, I’ve found nurses and doctors do an excellent job, but the fault lies with certain patients that go into hospital.

I’ve seen some very bad patients and they treat the nurses like servants, not nurses. The NHS has done a wonderful job but certain patients don’t know how well off they are.

John Thomson, Newbridge