A cut in VAT, not a tourism tax, needed to boost Welsh economy
Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis today called for a reduction in VAT on tourism related services to boost the Welsh economy and welcomed proposals to consider taxing disposable plastics.
Steffan Lewis AM said he looked forward to Welsh Conservatives securing a cut in VAT in the tourism sector from their government in London given their sudden interest in the industry. He said that any additional tax on tourism should not be considered and instead argued for a lower rate of VAT on tourist services like hotels, restaurants and visitor attractions.
Plaid Cymru AM Steffan Lewis said:
“Tourism is the lifeblood of the economy in many parts of Wales. In an increasingly globalised, competitive world, we need every advantage to sell Wales as a tourist destination. Plaid Cymru believes that a cut to VAT on tourism related services could provide a huge boost to the Welsh economy.
“Most European countries already charge a lower rate of VAT on tourism services. When Ireland introduced a lower VAT rate on the tourism sector, the Irish Finance Ministry’s analysis found that it acted as a stimulus on employment. Figures produced by the Cut Tourism VAT Campaign suggest that it could add an extra £167,033,089 to the Welsh economy annually.
“The proposals to charge an additional tourist tax in Wales is an idea put forward by the Welsh Labour Government. Meanwhile, Plaid Cymru have consistently argued for a cut in tourism VAT in Wales. If the Tories want to increase visitor numbers and boost employment in the tourist sector, then reducing VAT on tourism could be the answer. If they wanted to, they could deliver this in a matter of weeks when their UK budget is published.
“Plaid Cymru welcomes the news that the Welsh Government is considering a tax on disposable plastics. It has been a longstanding Plaid Cymru policy to replicate the success of the plastic bag charge and reduce the use of plastics like polystyrene takeaway cartons and non-recyclable coffee cups. As Wales begins to shape our own, distinct tax system, the focus should not just be on how to raise money to fill the public coffers, but also how we can use the levers we have to change things for the better.”