Eastbourne MP Raises 5% Tourism VAT In Parliament

Tuesday 13th September 2016

eastbourne buzz news - Caroline Hospitality

Eastbourne and Willingdon MP Caroline Ansell has raised the issue of a tourism industry VAT reduction during a Parliamentary debate.

Caroline asked whether the rate could come into line with other European countries, that often charge 5%, when she spoke during business questions. 

She made the comment after hosting Eastbourne Hospitality Association at Westminster. The organisation is lobbying for the reduction to 5% on attractions and accommodation to boost tourism in the town and across the country.

Caroline said, “My home constituency of Eastbourne and Willingdon is a long-established, beautiful seaside destination with big future ambitions, including for a new hot air balloon festival in 2017,” she told MPs.

“Tourism is the lifeblood of my town, and I am delighted to be welcoming the Eastbourne Hospitality Association to Parliament today.

“Will the Secretary of State tell me whether he has had discussions with the tourism industry about reducing the level of VAT on tourism services to bring us into line with competitor destinations in the EU, and to give our industry a competitive platform from which it can stimulate investment, create jobs, deliver growth and take full advantage of the opportunities in life after Brexit?”

The minister Greg Clark called Caroline “a big campaigner for the tourism industry”.

“We have the highest VAT threshold in the European Union, so many small businesses do not need to charge VAT but I will continue discussions with her,” he said.

Speaking afterwards, Caroline said, “The message from the EHA was clear: it needs a lower VAT rate to compete and to stimulate tourism and jobs and I will continue to apply pressure at ministerial level to achieve it."

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