As the debate over the so-called tourist tax continues, I feel it is my duty to present a solution.
We learn today that a permanent fix for Edinburgh’s potholes comes in at £4 million. The transient visitor levy will apparently bring in £14 odd million. So here’s what to do. Lower the charge to £1 a night to take the sting out of the debate (although the suggestion that £14 extra on a seven night hotel bill is going to discourage anyone from coming still seems odd to me).
Even with the lower charge we’ll have £7 million to play with, which is more than enough to sort out the roads – and still have a few quid to buy some bigger litter bins.
Everyone’s a winner. The tourists use the roads and so can’t grumble about paying towards their upkeep.
And every time a fed-up local gets stuck in a crowd on the High Street they can console themselves that somewhere in the city a pothole is being filled in as a result. Hey, regular visitors could even sponsor a pothole and check back on its upkeep.
Will it happen? Probably not. In all likelihood the Evening News will be writing stories about the huge number of potholes and the massive backlog on repairs for years to come...that and the soaring number of visitors.