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Travel industry news

22 Sep 2015

BY Edward Robertson


Lib Dems vote to cut domestic tourism VAT

The Liberal Democrats have continued their flirtation with tourism by calling for a cut in VAT on the domestic market.


Over the course of the weekend at their Bournemouth conference, the political party voted to agree a proposal that headteachers would be allowed to let families to take children out of school for holidays for up to 10 days in special circumstance.


Now, they have turned their attention to matters closer to home calling for a cut in VAT on domestic accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5%.


They argue if this was adopted it would create 123,000 jobs and an additional £4 billion in tax revenue.


Tim Farron, MP and leader of the Liberal Democrats, said: “Local hotels, B&Bs and tourist attractions are the backbone of our economy and I think they need more help and support.


“I would like the government to reduce VAT for tourist attractions and accommodation to boost UK exports, create more jobs and support our local economy.”


Eluned Parrott, member of the Welsh Assembly for South Wales Central and who proposed the motion, added: "This policy will level the uneven playing field, help small businesses, grow the economy and create jobs over time whilst delivering a net benefit to HM Treasury, and its popular too. It’s a win, win, win."


The Campaign to Cut Tourism VAT is supported by over 125 MPs from across the political spectrum. An All Party Parliamentary Group for the Visitor Economy has been established and is co-chaired by Nigel Huddleston, a Conservative MP and Margaret Ritchie, MP for the SDLP.


The aim of the group is to enhance the local economy by promoting measures and incentives, including a reduction of VAT on tourism, which would increase visitor numbers and investment in all parts of the UK.


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