Time To Tax

Friends and readers.

Our old mate Gavin nee naw Barrie Convener of Economic Development makes a good point about the rip off costs of staying in Edinburgh over Hogmany. Upwards of £300 pounds a night to enjoy the delights of the City’s Hogmany bash and we add not a penny piece to the City coffers. Gav is just a sentence off saying a bedroom tax would be appropriate in these rip off circumstances.

We want to attract punters to come and visit our City what we don’t want is them going away feeling they were ripped off, we need them to be leaving with what Cleopatra said to Mark Antony, IF YOU LIKED IT TELL ALL YOUR FRIENDS.

The City is entitled to make a buck or two out of the event with the money hopefully being reinvested in the City making it even more attractive to visit. But if you just look a little closer it’s not just the hotels that are ripping people off, everything from the greasy burger stall to the greedy pub landlords look to screw the punter for as much as they can get.

Of course all the ready made excuses are churned out but the exercise in ripping the punters off is a practised art at this time of the year. The introduction of a local, let’s call it a City dividend over the festive period would inject more cash into the City coffers something that is always needed. The £1 a head bedroom tax in some instances is laughable given the profiteering that goes on so a closer examination of what hotels and guest houses are charging or in this case over charging would help set a more realistic dividend for the City. But not only the rip off hotels must come into this equation but all the festive robbers should be made to pay a dividend to the City, set by how much they overcharge the visiting mug punter.

There is no doubt that the Hogmany bash generates income for the City but they too are being ripped off by knowingly allowing this profiteering to go on. The obvious argument is what can we do, but if you don’t try then you won’t know. Task a few over paid fat cat officials to prepare a paper which looks at the ways Edinburgh and it’s citizens can maximise it’s income while still looking to improve it’s image to the visitor.

It only take a few punters to complain about being ripped off for it to escalate into a damage limitation exercise.