I have signed a joint letter with other MPs calling on the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Philip Hammond MP, reduce VAT on tourism.
The Chancellor announced a review into the rate of VAT on tourism in Northern Ireland at the Spring Statement. This presents an opportunity for the Government to expand the review for the whole of the UK. If this cut went ahead it would go on to prove the economic case for a reduction in VAT on tourism across the entirety of the UK.
The letter is calling on the Chancellor to reduce VAT on tourism to 5% for tourism in Northern Ireland. In Northern Ireland alone, a reduction in VAT on tourism would generate £32 million over five years and £109 million over ten years. A reduction would also create 2,700 jobs over the same period. While the review is concentrated on Northern Ireland, reduction for the entire UK would produce £4.6 billion and over 100,000 jobs over ten years.
Tourism is an industry that reaches across the whole UK and provides jobs in every region of the UK. Flintshire has a growing tourism sector and investment from Flintshire County Council and the Welsh Assembly has gone a long way to improve North East Wales standing in the tourism world.
Tourism is a key industry for Delyn and I want to see it go from strength to strength. I have been working with the local tourism board to develop connections and enhance the standing of Flintshire as a destination for holidays.
Only last year the Lonely Planet Guide stated that North Wales was one of the top ten destinations to visit in the world. It shows our potential and I hope that the Chancellor will deliver on cutting VAT on tourism. Compared with other nations in Europe we have a higher VAT charge on tourism. It is time for the UK Government to take action and support jobs and growth.
The money that could be brought into Delyn would be significant. It would not only directly support tourism businesses, but it would see a positive effect on other businesses in the towns and villages people would visit.