Tourist tax only fair as visitors enjoy facilities

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Have your say

I cannot see any down side to the city’s proposal to introduce a “tourist tax”. Tourism is everywhere in the city centre and while it already brings in a huge amount to the local economy, this is less felt by the average Edinburgh resident who doesn’t own a business and who is often inconvenienced by tourist attractions taking over.

While I don’t resent this, and indeed I enjoy tourist attractions in other cities abroad, so can’t complain, I don’t think it’s unreasonable to ask visitors to pay a small levy towards the expense of keeping the city running and accessible to all – tourists and residents alike.

The proposal written about in the News (November 7) says a likely fee of just £1 per night will be added to hotel bills – a fee which I am sure will go unnoticed since anyone who can afford to stay in an Edinburgh hotel and enjoy the city for a few days most likely won’t be bankrupted by an extra £1. As I mentioned, I visit other cities and am happy to pay towards their upkeep, in fact it seems only reasonable since I am using their facilities.

The proposal has been criticised by some hotel owners who seem to think it would put their visitors off. Surely this small charge won’t be a big deal? Especially if all hotels are doing it, no one hotel will be more compromised than others.

The city seems to be impoverished at the moment and every penny counts – so why not recoup some of the council tax money we all fork out year in, year out from those non-payers who also benefit from the services it provides, albeit for just a few days.

G Fraser, Stockbridge, Edinburgh

Sturgeon will never ‘inspire’ a Yes vote

I had to laugh at our ludicrous First Minister saying that she wanted to “inspire” the two million No voters to vote for independence.

Sorry Nicola, but you and your fellow clowns in the SNP should grow up, learn about the real world and know that our stance is unchanged.

If anything, I would urge her to be “inspired” to be British, a member of the greatest country in the world. Little Scotlanders are truly pathetic.

David Wilson, Watson Crescent, Edinburgh

Wide pavements leave no room for trams

With reference to the recent articles in the News about the possible tram line completion (November 11), I am happy for the work to be carried out, taking it to Ocean Terminal or Newhaven.

What I would like to know is who in the planning department allowed the ridiculous widening of all the pavements from Pilrig Church down to the Foot of Leith Walk?

With a double tram line down this section, where is the rest of the traffic going to go? No room left for a lane down either side of the tram line. Or are they going to dig up all the new pavements again to make room?

Emergency vehicles could be severely delayed.

Jeff Trotter, Lochend, Edinburgh

Have your say on planning system

The Scottish planning system was founded on the principles of social equity, equality and delivering public good, and its outcomes shape the world around us, delivering houses, hospitals, schools, parks and roads – creating the places we live in.

Yet many people are unaware there is even such a thing as the “planning system”. As an educational charity we aim to enable people in Scotland to understand and engage with the places they live in through advice, training, events and awareness raising, so that everyone has the power to create positive communities for the future.

The Scottish Government is currently reviewing the operation of the planning system, with a focus on delivering a quicker, more accessible and efficient planning process, in particular increasing the delivery of high-quality housing developments.

There have already been changes to the planning system, but much more can be done by all stakeholders so that planning plays a more positive and effective role.

We are keen to hear the views of the public on the planning system, so we can feed into this process, especially on how individuals and groups can engage more effectively with it.

Given this we will be holding an event in Edinburgh tonight from 6pm to 7.30pm so that we can hear what you want out of the planning system. Book your place by e-mailing events@PAS.org.uk.

David Wood, PAS – Planning and Policy Manager, Princes Street, Edinburgh

People have power to make fairer world

Throughout history, systems under which people worked and lived have changed, not automatically, but after long struggles.

The system of capitalism under which we now live has changed from a national to an international one, where massive amounts of money are moved around the world daily, seeking the highest rate of profit, closing down industries regardless of the devastating effect on people’s lives.

International investors owe allegiance to no-one, people or the planet, and both are suffering in the name of “free markets”, which is their slogan for “we are free to do what we like, anywhere”. This global capitalism is incapable of solving problems, it is greedy and selfish, working for the benefit of already wealthy people.

There is no law that says things can never change, history has shown that people of nations can do that.

We, here in the UK, have made efforts over many years to show there is a better way, where the resources, both material and human, are used not to create wealthy individuals but to create a decent life for all and to leave a guaranteed future for coming generations. Socialism can replace capitalism because it is a system that works for all people, not the few.

A Delahoy, Silverknowes Gardens, Edinburgh