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Campaign responds to Prime Minister's comments on cut to tourism VAT

19 August 2013 by
Campaign responds to Prime Minister's comments on cut to tourism VAT

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign has responded to the Prime Minister's comments during a radio interview that the hospitality industry is only one industry that makes a good argument for a reduction of the consumer tax.

During the questioning on Global Radio in Manchester, David Cameron said a number of different sectors made a case for cutting VAT and, in particular, referred to house building repairs.

With regard to the belief of campaigners that a cut in VAT would provide a boost to the tourism industry, Cameron argued that there are other means of improving visitor numbers to the UK.

"Britain has a massive opportunity here," he said. "We've seen the levels of our currency have gone down as we've had these economic difficulties, so it is cheaper to come to Britain.

"We do need to do more to promote Britain as a destination and that is why we have this GREAT campaign. Crucially when people come to Britain, we have to get them to come outside London and visit places like Manchester. So there is lots we can do to encourage people to come to Britain without cutting VAT, which would be expensive."

Graham Wason, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign, said that a very good case had been made to HM Treasury, earlier this year, of reducing tourism as one of the most efficient means of generating GDP gains at low cost to the Exchequer.

"It is surprising that the Prime Minister refers to the weak pound as an opportunity for tourism. Relying on the UK economy to remain weak is not part of a sustainable strategy for tourism - and it makes no difference to the cost of domestic breaks for hard-working British families."

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign, led by the British Hospitality Association, would like to see tourism VAT cut from 20% , down to the same 7% rate in Germany and France.

Cut Tourism VAT group calls on regional communities to back campaign >>

Lake District MP gets behind Cut Tourism VAT campaign >>

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