Murdo Fraser says Greens are “out-of-touch” with plan to roll out tourist tax in Perth and Kinross

Scottish Conservative MSP Murdo Fraser has hit back at the proposal by the Scottish Green party to roll out the tourist tax in Perth and Kinross.

The Scottish Conservative politician, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, slammed the plan, put forward by Green MSP Mark Ruskell, claiming it shows how “out-of-touch” the Green party are to suggest introducing this tax in “an area like Perth and Kinross.”

Mr Ruskell claimed a £1 per night visitor levy would deliver at least £2.2 million for Perth and Kinross Council. This followed a decision by Edinburgh City Council to launch a £2-a-night tourist tax on overnight stays in hotels and B & Bs.

However, Mr Fraser, who is also the Scottish Conservative Party’s finance spokesperson, feels introducing the tourist tax in Perth and Kinross would be a disaster for the area.

He said: “There are many tourist businesses in Perth and Kinross who are already struggling with the likes of business rates. Therefore, to put this tourist tax into the equation simply risks damaging a vital sector of the area’s economy.

“This shows just how out-of-touch the Green Party are to suggest introducing this tax in an area like Perth and Kinross.”

He added: “I will be encouraging Perth and Kinross Council to rule out introducing the tourist tax. Stephen Leckie, chief executive of Crieff Hydro, aptly likened the tourist tax to ‘killing the goose that laid the golden egg.’ I couldn’t have put it better myself.

“Businessmen in the tourist industry like Mr Leckie, who is also chairman of the Scottish Tourism Alliance, know what they are talking about and his views on this tax should be taken seriously. This is not the case with the Green Party.

“Scotland is already a high cost destination without bringing in this tourist tax.”

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