Lib Dem activists call for cut in tourism VAT

Hotel News - 22/11/2010

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Lib Dem activists are campaigning for a reduction in VAT on tourism items as a way to create jobs and boost economies in struggling coastal communities. Torbay, in Devon, is one such economy that could benefit, people were told at a conference in Plymouth.

At the yearly South West Liberal Democrat gathering in Plymouth, attendees were told about the potential benefits to coastal communities such as Torbay. Delegates have called for the party to pressure the government on the issue. They say VAT on tourism should be reduced to 5 per cent.

The government has responded to such requests by saying it would ‘carefully’ consider proposals to provide relief on tourism tax. Supporters of the idea say gains generated in income tax and corporation tax, as well as reduced outlay on benefits would make up for any lost VAT revenues.

Dennis Brewer, a party activist, said the government has to pay whenever someone becomes unemployed. Therefore, he said, the aim was to keep people in jobs. He pointed to Disneyland Paris, which has been charged VAT as just 5.5 per cent since opening the late 1980s.

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