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Tuesday, 28 February 2017

Scottish Government considers reduced VAT could bring important benefits to tourism sector

In a written response to Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs, Fiona Hyslop acknowledged the contribution made by the visitor economy and said that a reduced rate in VAT could bring benefits to the tourism sector. The minister said that an approach to request a review of VAT rates for the tourism industry had been declined by HM Treasury. The full response in below.

Richard Lochhead, Scottish National Party, Moray

To ask the Scottish Government what its position is on the campaign to reduce VAT for tourism, and what discussions it has had with the UK Government regarding this.

Fiona Hyslop, Cabinet Secretary for Culture, Tourism and External Affairs

The Scottish Government values the significant contribution made by the visitor economy and considers that a reduced rate of VAT could bring important benefits for the tourism sector, including enhancing its competitiveness. In March 2016, following a joint Ministerial meeting, the former Minister for Tourism, along with those of the UK Government and the Devolved Administrations, wrote jointly to HM Treasury to request a review of VAT rates for the tourism industry to gather evidence on the impact of any change. This approach was declined.

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