My colleague Gordon Munro, has drafted a short piece on 'Our Economy and Jobs', which is over on the Edinburgh Labour website --- I'll reproduce the text below, for those interested:
Edinburgh’s economy is the engine of the Scottish economy. Edinburgh
has the highest output per resident and is significantly higher than the
Scottish and UK average. Yet the SNP Government has cut our city's
budget by more than any other Local Authority in the country.
key contributor to our city is the visitor economy. Revenue per
available hotel room peaked at a high of £167 in August and the lowest
point being January at £38 per room. This is why significant investment
is being made in Edinburgh in building hotels. This city has built
year-round tourism across the country, with Edinburgh the launch pad for
the rest of Scotland.
This tourism is attracted by our festivals which have been created
and funded by Edinburgh Council. Edinburgh’s festivals generate £313m
for Scotland with £280m in Edinburgh.
The Scottish Government's cuts of £150m to Edinburgh's budget since
2012 has, inevitably, had an impact on the Council's ability to provide
funding for our festivals - and other cities have been quick to set up
their own, rival, events. To stay ahead Edinburgh needs more funding. A
modest tax on beds of, say £1 per room, would help fund festival
programming and infrastructure, and keep Edinburgh in front.
There is another side to Edinburgh’s economy. Edinburgh has an
unemployment rate of 4.4% - lower than Morningside under Thatcher, yet
there are more people in in-work poverty than unemployed in Edinburgh.
This is why when Labour returned to power in Edinburgh in 2012 it
introduced the Living Wage for all Council employees. This directly
benefited over 2,500 workers and other employers across the city have
followed our lead.
Of course there is more to be done. That's why Edinburgh Labour will
make investing in our city's economy, to provide jobs and opportunities
for the future, a priority of a Labour Council. We will create good
quality jobs by investing in housing and public infrastructure, and we
will make sure that these jobs are well paid by ensuring that any
employer contracted by the Council pays their employees the living wage.
We will increase practical support for new businesses and start-ups,
especially in the tech sector, to help our city grow with a balanced
We will expand training opportunities for adults and young people to
help people back into work, and we will ensure every young person leaves
school with the choice of a job, training or further education so that
no one falls behind in our economy.
Edinburgh’s economy has to be fair for all. Only Edinburgh Labour will put Edinburgh first.