Hospitality and tourism industry writes to Chancellor of the Exchequer
The UK’s hospitality and tourism industry has written to the Chancellor urging him to order an immediate cut in Tourism VAT in next month’s budget – a move that it says will create thousands of jobs, raise billions of extra money for the treasury and also improve the country’s balance of trade by billions.
Dermot King, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign and managing director of Butlin’s has written to Philip Hammond detailing the benefits that cutting VAT on visitor accommodation and tourist attractions to 5 per cent would create. He says that the cut is the most effective and efficient way to support the UK’s fourth largest industry, which directly employs 4.5 million. Already 170 MPs from all political parties have signed up to the move.
Mr King emphasises how a cut in Tourism VAT would benefit rural and coastal areas in particular, where the industry makes up a larger proportion of the economic base than in the country as a whole.
His letter to the Chancellor, citing official reports, says that across Europe 31 countries benefit from a reduce rate of Tourism VAT and that the UK is the second worst country in the wolrd in terms of price competiveness.
He goes on to say that a reduction in Tourism VAT would increase revenue to the Treasury by £1.07bn for the first five years, and £4.6bn over ten.
To counter criticism that a VAT cut would just be putting money into the pockets of business Mr King pledges that Butlins and two other big industry players, Merlin Entertainments (who run Alton Towers and Madam Tussauds and money other major attractions) and Premier Inn would pass on the VAT reduction to the customers.
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