Chancellor told - cut holiday VAT and create 8,500 Yorkshire jobs

THE CHANCELLOR has been handed a tourism dossier detailing the 8,500 jobs which could be created in Yorkshire if he cut VAT on the holiday industry.

Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne

An alliance of tourism operators has gone over Treasury tax figures and told George Osborne that a VAT cut would create 120,000 jobs nationwide and boost the UK economy by £4bn each year.

EU rules give the Chancellor the option of picking sectors to support with VAT cuts, with only Denmark, Lithuania, the UK and Slovakia not offering a reduced VAT rate for tourism.

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Cutting the rate from 20 per cent down to five per cent would be worth £250m a year to Yorkshire’s economy, helping hotels and B&B’s bring in more visitors the campaign says.

Graham Wason, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign, said: “George Osborne has a fantastic opportunity in the Autumn Statement to unveil a tax cut that would create thousands of jobs, inject millions of pounds into regional economies outside of London, and even result in a fiscal surplus for the Treasury.

“What’s more, many of the benefits would be felt as soon as a cut is announced.”

Merlin Entertainments, the group behind attractions such as the York Dungeons and Scarborough Sea Life Sanctuary, said the cut would help bring in more visitors.

Strategy director David Bridgford said: “The current rate of 20 percent makes Britain uncompetitive internationally, punishes Britain’s tourism sector, which is losing market share to rivals, and penalises Britons who want to holiday at home by making it more expensive than going abroad.”

Mr Osborne is said to be reluctant to back the change, favouring instead income tax changes alongside commitments to large scale infrastructure projects for the North such as the HS3 railway project.

Labour has been looking at the campaign’s evidence, with Shadow culture secretary Harriet Harman asking the Tourism Alliance for more research into the benefits. In Yorkshire, any move

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