Cross-party support voiced for long-term reduction in tourism VAT
Cross-party support has been voiced for a long-term reduction in tourism VAT. MPs from the Conservative, Labour, SNP and Liberal Democrat Parties each suggested at a backbench business debate in the House of Commons on 10 September that an extension of the reduction in VAT beyond January would be an effective way to protect businesses over the winter and stimulate the UK’s tourist economy. Hospitality and tourism businesses welcomed the government’s decision earlier this summer to reduce VAT to 5% until January 2021. Prior to the cut, the UK’s rate of VAT for accommodation and tourism attractions was approximately twice the average of other major European destinations such as France, Germany, Italy and Spain, imposing higher costs and stifling demand for UK tourism.
Graham Wason, Founder of the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign, said: “The Campaign welcomes the support of cross-party Members of Parliament. As the impact of restrictions due to Covid-19 bite ever deeper into the tourism and hospitality sector, measures are needed to help businesses survive. A permanent reduction of tourism VAT would help drive the UK’s economy to recover in 2021, as well as delivering long-terms gains to UK Treasury, as has been demonstrated by Campaign research over many years.”
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