The Caterer
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Don't penalise guests further

03 August 2006

I was concerned to read the opinion column by Sir Michael Lyons (Caterer, 20 July, page 26) as it seemed to move the bed tax debate no further forward.

This nation now has an imbalance between outgoing and incoming tourism. The Government should be lowering the tax burden, not raising it.

Tourists already contribute to the local economy by spending money in hotels, restaurants, pubs, shops and visitor attractions, and should not be penalised further. We in the UK are already at a disadvantage with VAT levels, while across all EU member nations the hotel VAT rate averages below 10%.

So get real, Sir Michael. Funding from local government should come from savings in efficiency from the present cumbersome, last-century, inefficient structure.

John Pattin
Proprietor, the Cottage in the Wood, Malvern Wells, Worcestershire

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