STEVE Cardownie states that “hotels make no contributions to festivals and events in this city” (News, October 3).Hotels pay business rates, employ people (who pay taxes and purchase goods and services within Edinburgh) and provide places for people to stay and enjoy the city and the festivals.

These all create revenue which both directly and indirectly supports the city’s festivals and events.

Councillor Cardownie’s gripe seems to be that hotels don’t pay a direct tax to the council which he and the events team can then spend.

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A more constructive way forward would be for Cllr Cardownie to use his close links with the SNP Government to argue the case for Edinburgh keeping more of the rates that businesses pay to the city as a Capital City supplement which could be used to support the festivals for which Edinburgh is internationally renowned.

This money is raised in Edinburgh from businesses in the city and it would seem more fitting to lobby for keeping more of a tax already paid than to create a new levy.

Cllr Cardownie also needs to explain how the additional bed tax will be collected and the costs involved in this.

The last thing Edinburgh business needs is additional taxes when it is operating in such a difficult market. It is time for the city to work with business to protect jobs and continue to create wealth for all.

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Joanna Mowat, Conservative Councillor for City Centre Ward, City Chambers

Test contribution of hotels to city

IF Steve Cardownie really thinks that hotels in Edinburgh contribute nothing to the festivals, may I make the suggestion that they all close up for the duration of the festivals?

That should show if they contribute anything or not.

Dean McDonough, Mansfield Avenue, Edinburgh

English becoming a foreign tongue

I AM beginning to think that English – or today’s version of it – is a foreign language (even to natives).

In today’s jargon we do not make appointments but “find a window in our schedule”.

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Retailers do not refer to shoppers or visitors but “footfall”, and buying habits are now “lifestyle options”.

The latest gem I read was “bikini statistics” – not current sales of swimwear but apparently statistics which hide rather than reveal the most interesting things.

Perhaps it is best to make a joke of language use – such as making the prediction that the economy will improve “in the fifth quarter of the year”!

I often wonder what foreigners think of the increasingly obscure language English has become.

Susan Begley, Elgin Terrace, Abbeyhill, Edinburgh

No right to tell us about budgets

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HOW can Edinburgh City Council have the cheek and audacity to lecture the people of the city on money and say that vital services have to be cut for the benefit of the economy when they have wasted more than £700 million on a tram system that the people of Edinburgh don’t want?

These councillors clearly forgot that they are paid by the people to represent the people and to listen, and yet they are more than happy to take their undeserved wages while throwing the people’s opinion to the dogs because the only opinion and voice they care about is their own.

Alan Lough, Dunbar, East Lothian

Rare praise for our legal eagles

NEWSPAPERS seldom carry compliments to members of the legal profession.

But, thanks to your correspondent F Rutherford of Leith, and the writer of the headline “Get yourself a good lawyer to stop the rot setting in” (Interactive, October 3), your readers are reminded of the truism that a good lawyer will keep you out of trouble, even if more money could be made from sorting out the mess caused by not consulting a lawyer in the first place.

Robin MacCormick, (retired solicitor), Dalkeith Road, Edinburgh

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