A call for the introduction of a 2.5% tourist tax in Scotland has been condemned as “flawed”.

UKHospitality warned against the Association of Accounting Technician’s suggestion.

The accountancy body has 1,800 members in Scotland including 100 who provide tax and accountancy services to around 10,000 small Scottish businesses, including many who let property commercially.

AAT recommended on Wednesday that the Scottish government ignore calls for a flat rate Scottish tourism tax and introduce a tax of 2.5% on the overall accommodation cost instead.

The body’s head of public affairs public policy and Phil Hall said: “A 2.5% charge would be much fairer than a flat rate fee and whilst it would mean a £2.60 a night charge on average in Edinburgh, it would amount to just £1.35 on average in Aberdeen.

“It’s not just fairer by region, it’s fairer for everyone when you consider the flat rate proposed by others would see those staying in a five-star hotel charged the same as those staying in a youth hostel – that simply isn’t fair or reasonable.”

But UKHospitality executive director for Scotland, Willie Macleod, hit back and said: “The AAT’s assertion that a 2.5% tourist tax in Scotland would somehow be “fair” is flawed. An additional tax burden on already hard-pressed accommodation providers would in no way be fair.

“The proposed tax would hit only hotels and would fail to address day visits or affect home-sharing platforms which increasingly make up many overnight stays.

“It would only disadvantage hospitality businesses that are already being squeezed at a time of huge economic and political instability.

“Any tourist tax would be an unwanted additional burden for businesses, but a 2.5% extra cost would be seriously harmful.

“Although the AAT is responding to the consultation, it did not make a written submission to the Scottish government’s national discussion on the tourist tax. It is therefore disappointing to hear them put forth such an ill-informed suggestion so late in the day.”