We’ve already seen the chaos the SNP has caused [sarcasm alert] by promoting tourism in the Western Isles. There have been huge cuts for vehicle passengers, like Oban to Mull, from £56.65 to £16.45 and Mallaig to Skye, from £29.05 to £12.20. Scottish ministers have since been blamed for promoting overcrowding chaos on Skye. Now the Aberdeen to the Northern Isles ferry charges are to be cut by 40% to promote tourism. Will there be chaos there too with horses of tourists blocking the roads?
Am I missing something? Don’t the islanders want more tourists spending more money? Shouldn’t the local businesses invest in bigger car parks themselves and set-up attractive guided bus tours so the tourists leave their cars in the car parks? Isn’t the Scottish Government doing just what it should be doing; stimulating rural economies?
I really enjoy the mental picture of the roads in the Western Isles gridlocked by the tourists’ horses. (I know it’s a typo but it’s still delicious!)
Hi John – and Hi William.
All those tourist horses in the Western Isles should make the Isles’ economy more STABLE.
Neigh, it’s chaos!
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I mean for the jokes, not the ferries getting cheaper! The latter is superb news, and good economy management. I mind when we were young, the village shop used to put up its prices for the summer each year for the tourists – that was stopped, but I thought it was fair enough,,, and has got nothing to do with getting tourists to travel to the remote locations in the first place! It just popped into my head.
There was a bus pass conversation earlier today with a couple of my older colleagues, one was saying that he’d be getting his bus pass as soon as possible (encouraged by the other who already had his, because they were talking about stopping them, again), but that it should only be for local travel within 10 miles of your home (eh?), because it’s not a good use of taxpayers money, apparently… while the bus pass holder was lauding the benefits of getting people out there spending money and keeping more remote economies going. Though he did mention the bus to Campbeltown isn’t very packed. And a rather long journey. I just kep saying ‘all public transport should be free’ but I was totally blanked. I don’t have a sound economic argument for it, right enough, but it would have been nice to have been asked.
Who has been talking of stopping or limiting the bus passes. My wife just back in Ayr after visiting her sister north of Aberdeen, free!
I was just gossiping and relating what others were gossiping about, hearsay piled upon hearsay – at the time I just rolled my eyes, I mean, really? There would be a riot if we couldn’t get our bus passes. The example being Mr ‘that’s a waste of tax payers money but I will be collecting mine instantly I’m eligible, but only to travel 2 stops of course’. I mean, he thought a ten mile restriction would save tax payer money, but never considered that there should be no bus pass. Bet your wife went shopping and spent tons of money around Aberdeen too, boosting the … economy… up there – does their economy need boosting?
Nothing’s free, you’ve paid your taxes, you get your bus pass, it’s earned.
I forgot to mention the portion of the conversation that went a bit like ‘… and you have to remember you might need to wait six months’ – ‘surely not! Why would that be?’ – ‘ah, they can take six months to process it, don’t know why. So you have to get in there straight away.’ – ‘ohhh, right, I’d better be quick about it,,,’ – ‘once you’ve got it you get to keep it forever though’ – ‘good, just hope I’m in time,,,’ (those aren’t really quotes, but take note that these people are likely to be far better than average earners that have no plans to retire anytime soon! Folks like the bus pass! Certainly it’s not a case of need – I think universal benefits work well.)
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The evidence for universal benefits including my bus pass: http://reidfoundation.org/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/The-Case-for-Universalism.pdf
Good article Prof. John. Reform on land ownership would possibly be necessary for infrastructure improvements but great care and planning would be required in striking the right balance.
I have recently discovered another pragmatic academic called Richard Murphy and find his views on tax compelling. In Catalonia I find the tourist tax paid at the hotels fair. I use the local infrastructure so why shouldn’t I make a contribution to the costs. Reasonable taxes are only objected to by Neo Cons etc in my experience.