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MPs back Say No To Bed Tax campaign

24 May 2006

Eight MPs today lodged an early day motion (EDM) in Parliament to oppose the threat of a bed tax.

The EDM calls on Government to reject the suggestion of a 5-10% tax on overnight accommodation, currently being considered by Sir Michael Lyons as part of an official inquiry into local government funding.

The group of MPs, including Nigel Evans, Conservative MP for the Ribble Valley; Greg Pope, Labour MP for Hyndburn; and Bob Spink, Conservative MP for Castle Point, launched the motion saying:

"We recognise how a bed tax] will worsen the £17.5b trade deficit and would disadvantage the UK hotel and guest house industry against many other countries."

They also voiced concern over the potential loss of "thousands of hospitality jobs up and down the country".

Commenting on the proposal for a bed tax, Evans said: "This tax is ridiculous and could harm millions of small businesses up and down the country.

"The tax would increase costs and cut our ability to be a competitive attraction to millions of tourists each year. It will worsen the £17.5b trade deficit, stifle growth and possibly cause hospitality jobs to be lost.

Evans said a 10% bed tax would add £100 to an average week's holiday for a family of four, and added that he had written to the Chancellor of the Exchequer highlighting his concern at the proposal and calling on him to put it to sleep.

"The bed bureaucracy and bed counting tax snoops must have no place in our hotels and guest houses," said Evans.

The EDM comes after the launch of Caterer's own Say No to Bed Tax campaign last month.

See this week's Caterer and Hotelkeeper, out tomorrow (25 May), for news on how much a bed tax would cost English hospitality businesses over the bank holiday weekend.

So far more than 2,500 readers have signed our petition to register their opposition to a bed tax. We still need more signatures so make your voice heard now by signing up here.

English bed tax still under consideration >>

Scotland looks into imposing its own bed tax >>

Lyons delivers interim report early >>

For more news, comment and letters on Say No to Bed tax click here >>

By Jessica Gunn

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