A group of MPs have renewed the call to the chancellor for a reduction of tourism VAT to 5%, following the tabling of an Early Day Motion in Parliament.
Stephen Lloyd, Liberal Democrat MP for Eastbourne in East Sussex tabled the motion earlier today, and has the backing of several other MPs including Jim Shannon, Sammy Wilson, Caroline Lucas and Dr Philippa Whitford, who have each co-sponsored it.
Chairman of Eastbourne Hoteliers Association, Dave Brachtvogel, said he supported the Early Day Motion: "As observed by the British Hospitality Association's recent report of the inquiry into coastal communities, the tourism industry is crucial for coastal communities, providing a business presence in areas which have seen the decline of their once traditional industries.
"In Eastbourne alone, the tourism industry provides 10.9% of Eastbourne's full employment figures and boosts our economy by £110m each year. A reduction in the rate of tourism VAT to 5% would stimulate investment, job creation and consumer spending and help us to ensure that Eastbourne's visitor's economy continues to thrive and that we are able to continue to offer quality accommodation to our guests."
Speaking about the move, Lloyd said: "The tourism industry lies at the heart of the British economy. But what the UK Visitor economy urgently needs is to become more competitive relative to its European counterparts. That means reducing the damagingly high rate of VAT on tourism, allowing the industry to compete on its merits with France, Germany, Ireland and Spain. I call upon my fellow MPs to sign the Early Day Motion and oppose the imposition of yet another tax on the hospitality industry."
Vernon Hunte, campaign manager of the Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT, said: "I welcome Stephen Lloyd's Early Day Motion and for his commitment to celebrating Britain's tourism and hospitality sector, as the UK's fourth largest industry. Independent research has shown that a reduction in the rate of tourism VAT to 5% would stimulate investment and spending in the hospitality industry across the UK, contributing £4.6b to the Exchequer, and leading to a reduction in the UK's balance of trade deficit by £23b over 10 years. Show your support for the Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT today by writing to your MP and urging them to sign the EDM."
Around 33 countries in Europe have a reduced rate of VAT on tourism. The UK charges 20% on VAT for visitor accommodation, compared to 7% in Germany, 9% in Ireland, and 10% in Spain and Italy. The Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT is calling for VAT in the UK to be reduced to 5% on accommodation and attractions.
Videos from The Caterer archives