New calls for reduction in tourism VAT

PRESSURE is growing on the Government to cut VAT on tourism-related businesses after York Dungeon became the latest attraction to demand action.

The cross-party Cut Tourism Vat campaign believes the industry would be £4bn a year better off, and lead to the creation of up to 120,000 new jobs, if Britain fell into line with Europe and reduced the levy from 20 per cent to five per cent.

Writing in The Yorkshire Post, York Dungeon manager Helen Douglas notes that Boris Johnson, the Mayor of London, negotiated a lower VAT rate for cable cars across the River Thames.

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She adds: “We need our MPs to stand up for a policy designed to benefit us. Crucially, tourism is the only export subject to VAT.

“It is senseless that we incentivise people to travel abroad. Politically it makes sense too. Tourism is one of the biggest employers of young people.

“The fact that Britain is just one of three EU member states to not apply a reduced rate of VAT to accommodation and attractions means we’re at a serious competitive disadvantage with Europe. In a global economy, price matters.”