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Chancellor criticised for ignoring tourism

24 April 2009
Chancellor criticised for ignoring tourism

The chancellor has been criticised for ignoring tourism's potential as a source of economic growth in favour of long-term investments such as green and hi-tech industries.

The British Hospitality Association said it was "curious" that tourism did not get a mention in Alistair Darling's Budget, while other industries such as IT and energy did, with most of them receiving some form of fiscal encouragement.

"In 2007, the Government abolished the Hotel Buildings Allowance and reduced other capital allowance yet investment in tourism facilities - hotels, restaurants, attractions - is essentially long-term.

"Frustratingly, the Government is now investing heavily in green and hi-tech industries to pull the economy out of the recession. But these investments take many years to produce a return. Investing in tourism can produce a near instant return," Cotton added.

The BHA wants the Government to restore the Hotel Buildings Allowance and the long-term cuts in capital allowances and stop the imposition of additional red tape, particularly in business rates, employment and National Insurance.

Chris Durant, director of purchasing consortium Beacon Purchasing, also criticised Darling for ignoring tourism.

"When is this Government going to wake up to the fact that tourism and hospitality contributes an enormous amount to the UK's GDP and hammering it with more taxes in an economic climate like this is absurd?" he said.

"Surely the Government can understand that they would be better encouraging hospitality businesses and helping them grow - that would probably generate far more additional tax revenue and keep more workers in employment than by the measures announced yesterday."

Budget: Beer tax rise signals ‘death warrant' for UK pubs >>

Chancellor doesn't give a XXXX for British pubs, says ALMR >>

Hospitality leaders issue wish list ahead of the Budget >>

BHA calls for deferral of NI and VAT and return of capital allowances >>

Read the full Budget document here >>

By Daniel Thomas

E-mail your comments to Daniel Thomas here.

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