Mid-Scotland and Fife MSP Dean Lockhart has issued a warning to Stirling Council not to 'shoot the goose who lays the golden egg' as it discusses the possibility of raising a tourist tax on the city.
The warning comes as SNP leader of Stirling Council, Cllr Scott Farmer, refused to rule out the possibility of introducing an overnight charge for visitors should local authorities be given the ability to raise the tax in the new year.
Dean Lockhart MSP said:
‘’We should be doing all we can to encourage more visitors to Stirling, especially at a time when high-streets across the country are struggling.
‘’Hitting tourists in the pocket with this extra charge will only serve to do the opposite.
‘’If the visitors which Stirling’s economy desperately need are suddenly forced to pay more, then we seriously risk them choosing to go to more cost effective destinations in the rest of the UK.
‘’I also have serious concerns that any revenue raised from the tax will not be spent in the local economy and with businesses in the town already struggling due to the punishing business rates regime, there is scepticism in the local community that such a charge will benefit the high-street.
‘’I therefore urge the council to not shoot the goose who lays the golden egg and think seriously about the impact that such a charge could have on Stirling’s already struggling economy.’’