Edinburgh MP Christine Jardine calls for a reduction in tourism VAT
At the Scottish Liberal Democrat conference on 23 April 2018, Christine Jardine MP called for a reduction in VAT on tourism to 5 %. Jardine is a strong supporter of the Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT and recently called a Westminster Hall debate on tourism and the creative industries. During this debate she stated that hospitality and tourism is one of the UK’s most important sectors with growth on par with that of the digital industries.
On announcing her call for a reduction Jardine said that, “Twice as many Brits go abroad on holiday than non-domestic tourists come here. This hasn’t always been the case.
“You could point to Edinburgh and London as tourist successes, but these tourist hubs don’t reflect the full picture. They don’t reflect our at-risk seaside resorts like Ayr or Largs.
“With other EU countries providing support to tourism, the UK government can’t use its usual smokescreen. The EU isn’t making them do anything. We need to support these businesses and communities reliant on tourism now.”
Leading hospitality and tourism trade body, UKHospitality responded positively to the announcement. CEO Kate Nicholls, said, “Tourism in Scotland is already worth £11 billion, 4.5% of the total Scottish economy, and could contribute yet more with a more competitive tax system. On 2012 figures, a reduction to 5% would deliver 11,000 jobs and over £300 million in revenue in Scotland alone. Across the UK, the benefits would be enormous.
“A reduction in VAT to 5% would provide a significant boost to tourism allowing it to reach its full potential. Tourism is an industry which reaches every corner of the UK, especially the UK’s coastal and rural areas, communities which are in need of growth after prolonged underinvestment.
‘Independent research has shown that over ten years a reduction would produce £4.6 billion in revenue, and provide over 100,000 jobs across the UK and we urge the government to support this uniquely beneficial and common-sense policy.”
The Liberal Democrats support a reduction in VAT on tourism and have made it party policy, and have included it in previous party manifestos.
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