Cut Tourism VAT

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Friday, 02 June 2017

Election 2017 – Cut Tourism VAT Manifesto Scorecard

The Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT has released a manifesto scorecard, ranking each political party on its tourism policies ahead of the General Election on 8 June.

Independent research has shown a reduction in the rate of tourism VAT to 5% will stimulate investment and consumer spending and contribute £4.6 billion to the Exchequer over 10 years, and lead to a reduction in the UK’s balance of trade deficit by £23 billion over 10 years.

The scores are based on each party’s recognition of the value of tourism, their commitment to the tourism industry and specifically their support for a reduction in VAT for tourist accommodation and attractions from the current rate of 20% to 5%.

Two parties scored a full 10/10. Plaid Cymru and the Social Democratic and Labour Party (SDLP) have made a clear commitment to reducing tourism VAT, which they recognise would have a positive impact on the industry and the economy. There were also other commitments to help the industry through for instance improving rural infrastructure.

The SNP scored 8/10, with a commitment to ask the UK government to examine reducing VAT but did not make a reduction policy.

The Campaign is disappointed that none of the three major parties have committed in their manifesto to reducing the VAT on tourism which would bring the UK into line with most European countries. A cut in Tourism VAT is still Liberal Democrat policy, however.

Of the three major parties, the Campaign judged the manifestos of Labour and the Liberal Democrats to be the most supportive of tourism, and they both scored 6/10.

The Conservative party only scored 4/10, on account of them failing to make any new pledges that will give the industry the boost it deserves.

The lowest scoring party was UKIP, who scored 2/10 on account of their tourism unfriendly policies such as reducing net migration to zero.

Other policies considered tourism friendly included making the travel visa process more efficient, investing in critical infrastructure and commitments to promote the UK more abroad.

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