Tourism tax cut could create over 8,000 jobs in region, say campaigners

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A TOurism VAT cut has been called for as campaigners say 8,600 jobs could be created in Yorkshire if the Government acted.

Lobbying efforts are to pick up after the summer break as tourism firms seek to convince the Government it should follow the EU average and offer a reduced rate for tourism providers.

Graham Wason, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign group, said the jobs would come through attracting more visitors.

He said: “VAT is the one tax that is totally regulated by the European Union.

“It sets out the minimum, but you are allowed two reduced ranges, generally on something with a social or job creation aspect.

“Tourism is on the list, and most countries in the EU do have reduced rates and it makes for a cheaper holiday.

“Some 24 out of 28 members states do it, why are we not? You could place it on tourist accommodation and attractions and that would mean a big change in prices, with tourism groups obviously keen to pass on cheaper prices and get more visitors.”

The most recent Government figures show tourism is worth some £2.6bn to the Yorkshire and Humber economy.

The Government has already started offering extra tourism support. Recently appointed tourism minister Penny Mordaunt has launched the Coastal communities fund, looking at helping tourist locations across England and Wales.

She said: “Seaside towns are a strong part of this country’s heritage and have huge potential to create new businesses that provide jobs. They are an important part of the government’s long-term economic plan.”