Cut Tourism VAT

Cut tourism VAT, boost british jobs

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Friday, 24 April 2015

Election 2015 – The Cut Tourism VAT Manifesto Scorecard

 Cut Tourism VAT, a tourism industry campaign group, has ranked party manifestos to create a definitive list of which parties are the most supportive of the industry’s call to have a more competitive rate of VAT – with surprising results.

Cut Tourism VAT is a coalition of 43,000 tourist accommodation and attractions businesses calling for VAT on tourism to be cut from 20% to 5%. This will bring the UK in line with competitor destinations within the European Union, increase the competitiveness of regional tourism hotspots, generate more investment for regional businesses and support wider regeneration in these areas, and across the UK as a whole. Nationally, cutting tourism VAT would bring a £4 billion boost to the UK economy and create 120,000 jobs.

With this in mind, the tourism industry campaign reviewed and ranked each party’s manifesto, and found that the smaller parties seem to have the greater understanding of the value of the tourism industry and the support it needs, whilst the industry was neglected by the two largest parties:

  • In joint first place, scoring 10/10 were the SDLP, Alliance, DUP, UUP, Plaid Cymru and the Green Party who all have a clear commitment to reducing tourism VAT, which they recognise would have a positive impact on the industry and the economy.
  •  In seventh place was the SNP scoring 7/10 due to their commitment to examining a reduction, but fell short of pledging to reduce the rate.
  • Joint eight were the Liberal Democrats and UKIP with 5/10. Whilst the Lib Dems recognise that tourism makes up 9% of the economy, UKIP’s commitment to creating a Minister of State for Heritage and Tourism in the Cabinet Office would help to improve the status of tourism.
  • In tenth place were the Conservatives with a below average 4/10. They recognised the 3 million people the tourism industry employs, but failing to make any new pledges that will give the industry the boost it deserves.
  • Lastly, Labour came in eleventh place with 2/10, mentioning tourism only once in their manifesto and only in reference to public ownership, which was especially disappointing following Ed Balls’ recent comments about reviewing tourism VAT.

Graham Wason, Chairman of Cut Tourism VAT, said:

“We are absolutely delighted that more than half of the parties have committed to reducing VAT on tourism – they obviously understand a cut would boost the economy and support a sector that employs millions.

“International competition for tourism is increasing and the UK’s share of the global tourism market is declining. 25 of the other 27 EU countries have reduced rates of VAT on tourism not for altruistic reasons, but because they recognise this creates jobs and growth.

“This is an extremely important issue and one that deserves to be at the heart of every manifesto. The most worrying result from our analysis was that the two main parties seem to have failed to recognise how much more tourism can contribute to the UK economy.”

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