The Cut Tourism VAT campaign rolled into Eastbourne yesterday (2 June).
The group set up at the pier, offering free ice creams and asking people to sign their petition to see the 20% VAT rate cut in Britain. Across Europe, the tax tariff is far lower, which they believe is damaging the UK tourism trade.
The town’s Conservative parliamentary candidate, Caroline Ansell, turned up to show her support for the campaign, with her comments contained within the video report.
Whilst the other candidates were not at the event, Eastbourne Buzz has asked them for their feelings towards the campaign.
In alphabetical order of those who have responded, Jake Lambert from the Labour Party said, "I support the calls from our hospitality industry for a reduction in VAT for the tourism industry and I'm delighted Jeremy Corbyn has pledged that there will be no rise in VAT under Labour, after my LibDem opponent voted 17 times to increase VAT, despite a manifesto pledge not to.
“Our tourism industry is at risk in this election with ongoing chaos on our railways and the threat of a risky Tory Brexit. A vote for Labour will protect our local businesses, bring the railways into public ownership and give Eastbourne an MP who sticks to their promises."
Stephen Lloyd from the Liberal Democrats said, "Everyone in Eastbourne knows my passion for ice cream so I'm sorry to have missed the ice cream van on the pier, but folk may not know just how active I was as the Patron of the Eastbourne Hospitality Association when I was the MP. They and the industry they represent are absolutely crucial to the success of our town. The issue of hotels and guest houses in the UK paying 20% VAT whilst their competitors in Europe pay rates as low as 7% is neither fair nor acceptable. I am totally behind their campaign and if re-elected will be a vigorous advocate in parliament both for the tourism industry and to reduce VAT."
The Green Party’s Alex Hough said, “VAT is bureaucratic, regressive and a burden on many small businesses. The Greens would phase it out and replace it with:
The full list of parliamentary candidates standing for the Eastbourne & Willingdon seat are:
Ansell, Caroline (Conservative)
Hough, Alex (Green)
Lambert, Jake (Labour)
Lloyd, Stephen (Liberal Democrat).
You can hear from the candidates on various topics in a special General Election page here.