Support our Nation today - please donate here
News

Chairman of Westminster’s Welsh Affairs Committee criticises proposed ‘tourism tax’

20 Jun 2023 3 minute read
Stephen Crabb by Chris McAndrew (CC BY 3.0).

The chairman of the Commons Welsh Affairs Committee has criticised the Welsh Government’s proposed “tourism tax”.

Stephen Crabb, a Conservative former cabinet minister and the MP for Preseli Pembrokeshire in Wales, said such a levy would be the “very last thing” businesses need.

Treasury minister Victoria Atkins attempted to draw a distinction from the Conservative Government in Westminster, pointing to tax relief and the so-called Brexit pubs guarantee, adding Welsh Labour “wants to call last orders and to have higher taxes”.

Discretionary levy

The Labour-led Welsh Government has put forward proposals for a “discretionary visitor levy”, which would empower local authorities to impose a “small charge” on tourists staying overnight in commercially-let accommodation such as hotels, Airbnbs and bed and breakfasts.

Similar charges are already in place in more than 40 destinations such as Greece, France, Amsterdam, Barcelona and the US state of California.

Mr Crabb was speaking in the Commons during a session of questions to Treasury ministers, and said “a great many” of the “new job opportunities and career paths” being created in Pembrokeshire are being created in the tourism and hospitality sector.

He said: “The very last thing that business people who are creating those growth opportunities need right now is a tourism tax of the kind being brought forward by the Welsh Labour Government in Cardiff that will hit these businesses with new burdens and raise the cost of going on holiday in Wales”.

Treasury minister Ms Atkins said: “He is quite right to identify how the Conservatives in Government are trying to help these businesses through our business rates relief in England, through our energy support scheme over recent months, and of course through the Brexit pub guarantee.

“Welsh Labour on the other hand wants to call last orders and to have higher taxes for those businesses he’s so keen to support.”

A Welsh Government spokesperson said: “Visitor levies are commonplace across the world, with revenues used to the benefit of local communities, tourists and businesses. Our plans would allow local authorities to decide if they want to introduce a levy, based on the needs of their areas.

“The levy could make a real difference by generating new revenue to develop and enhance local services and infrastructure.

“We are ambitious for Wales as a tourist destination and will continue to work with communities, visitors and businesses to achieve sustainable growth for tourism across Wales.”


Support our Nation today

For the price of a cup of coffee a month you can help us create an independent, not-for-profit, national news service for the people of Wales, by the people of Wales.

Subscribe
Notify of
guest
9 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
Ann
Ann
1 year ago

Don’t they realise that very few people are even aware of the Tourism tax they pay in other countries! We stayed in Antwerp recently, we chose our hotel on the basis of our budget and the facilities offered. On our return, checking the full statement we found that we had paid such a tax. The only time we have been aware of it was when we went to Getmany and on arrival were told by the receptionist that one had come into force that day, so needed to be paid in addition to our previous advance payment.

Dai Ponty
Dai Ponty
1 year ago

He like most Tory Cymru MP,s will be gone after the next General Election if not all Tory MP,s will be gone From Wales thats all they will do is hang on make as much mischief and do as much damage as they can most countries have got a tourist tax

Gareth
Gareth
1 year ago

Treasury minister Ms Atkins is talking utter cac, or is trying to mislead when she said ” to have higher taxes for those businesses “. Tourists not the business will pay the new tax, Tory smoke and mirrors again.

hdavies15
hdavies15
1 year ago

Very predictable. Obviously he doesn’t travel much, holidays etc around the Med, or does he do everything on expenses ?

Karl
Karl
1 year ago

So he is against extra money that would be invested in the area he represents. Time the voters showed him and his oddities the door. Areas that attract tourism have serious issues that have never been helped via normal ways. Time we found new ways to invest

Steve Woods
Steve Woods
1 year ago

To quote the late Mandy Rice-Davies: “Well he would, wouldn’t he?”

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
1 year ago

Perhaps if he’s willing to pay out of his own pocket for the repairs and clean-up that tourism necessitates, then Welsh local councils will be more than happy to scrap a tourist tax. These taxes are the norm in many countries around the world; what possible grounds does Mr. Crabb have for thinking that such a tax would be uniquely disastrous for Cymru?

Cat
Cat
11 months ago

Its not news that a Conservative criticises Wales.
Its news if they are positive.

C A Evans
C A Evans
10 months ago

If your going to have a tax, everyone pay it.You go for a day out from Chester to Llandudno. Use the facilities all day go home. No tax. You come and stay in your Static Home, millions of them in Wales, why? No idiots stupid enough to build new hotels in Wales.Well Premier Inn Travel lodge. Static Home visitors should pay, day trippers pay. Welsh staying over pay. No blooming wonder tourists dont come to Wales.Well 515 million out of 27 billion visitor in 2019 to UK. A joke, crazy ideas of the Dictatorial Labour. Time in Wales ,devolution to… Read more »

Our Supporters

All information provided to Nation.Cymru will be handled sensitively and within the boundaries of the Data Protection Act 2018.