Murdo Fraser MSP has backed a former SNP Minister who described controversial short-term let licence proposals as “arbitrary, irrational and draconian.”
The Scottish Conservative politician feels Fergus Ewing’s summary of the planned SNP regulations “says it all.”
At a recent Scottish Parliament meeting, Mr Fraser told Shona Robison, Cabinet Secretary for Social Justice, Housing and Local Government, that he feels the proposals need reviewed and that it should be up to councils to decide on whether to bring in new rules in their areas, rather than there being a national scheme.
Under the legislation, all local authorities will be required to establish a short-term lets (STLs) licensing scheme by October 2022.
Commenting, Mr Fraser, who represents the Mid Scotland and Fife region, said: “I raised concerns at the Local Government Committee about the excessive new regulation of short-term lets, which also impacts on B & Bs. It says it all when former SNP Cabinet Secretary Fergus Ewing described the scheme as ‘arbitrary, irrational and draconian’, and he’s right.
“The real worry here is the costs to individual businesses, which the Committee has heard could run into thousands of pounds. And this just doesn’t affect self-catering: owners of B & Bs in locations like Pitlochry will see this as another form of taxation and they don’t see what benefits they will get out of it.”
Mr Fraser added: “The overriding factor here is that this scheme could lead to significant additional burdens on a sector that has already been badly hit by the impact of the pandemic along with rising costs, including energy prices.
“The Scottish Conservatives have said that it should be up to local authorities to decide on licensing of short-term lets if there is a problem locally – there is no need for a national scheme.”