The Caterer

Bed tax: nothing has been decided

10 August 2006
Bed tax: nothing has been decided

Thank you for your letter of 10 July to the prime minister regarding the possibility of a new tourism tax. As I am the minister with responsibility for tourism matters, your letter was passed to me for reply.

Government fully appreciates the contribution the tourism industry makes to the British economy. In his interim report published on 15 December, Sir Michael Lyons indicated that he was interested in exploring a range of revenue-raising powers for local authorities. Sir Michael has not, to date, made a recommendation of a bed tax and will submit his final report by the end of this year.

I know there is a lot of industry concern around a possible bed tax, and my predecessor, James Purnell, asked tourism industry representatives to commission evidence on the possible economic impact, which has been fed to the inquiry team.

Should he move forward on a bed tax, Sir Michael has committed to coming back to the industry, and your comments have, of course, been noted. My officials will continue to monitor developments.

Shaun Woodward MP
Minister for Creative Industries and Tourism

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