The chief executive of hotels consortium Best Western has added his weight to the growing body of opposition to the Government's proposed rise in capital gains tax.
Earlier this month, Chancellor Alastair Darling announced a flat capital gains tax rate of 18% to replace the existing tapered system, which allows business owners to pay 10% tax when selling up. The change will be introduced with the new financial year in April.
And yesterday, Martin Couchman, deputy chief executive of the British Hospitality Association, said that the increase would be an "absolute body blow" to the hospitality industry.
Speaking to Caterersearch today, David Clarke said Best Western's 290 member hotels were taken aback by the announcement.
"Obviously this only takes effect when you are selling, but for many operators (the low capital gains tax) forms an integral part of their business plan," he said. "The move indicates a lack of support for small businesses."
Hospitality businesses are beginning to feel persecuted with the capital gains tax rise following hot on the heels of the scrapping of Industrial Buildings Allowance (the tax break for expansion), Clarke said.
By Daniel Thomas
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