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Conservatives welcome Conwy Council leader comments that tourism tax can’t be ‘justified’

03 Oct 2022 3 minute read
Councillor Charlie McCoubrey and Andrew RT Davies.

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has welcomed comments by the leader of Conwy Council who said that a tourism tax couldn’t be “justified” during the cost of living crisis.

Councillor Charlie McCoubrey had told the Daily Post that he personally struggled to “see how any additional burden either financial or administrative could be justified” given the current cost of living crisis.

“This is a contentious issue with vocal supporters and opponents,” he said. “As a council we continue to feed into the Welsh Government consultation and no final decision will be made by this council until the full details of the proposals are finalised.

“Tourism is a vitally important sector of Conwy’s economy and an industry which is under extreme pressure as we face a cost of living crisis. In the current situation I personally struggle to see how any additional burden either financial or administrative could be justified.”

Charlie McCoubrey, an independent, has become the second council leader to reject the tax after the Labour leader of Vale of Glamorgan council said the same.

When asked about the levy and whether or not it is something the Vale of Glamorgan Council would consider, council leader, Cllr Lis Burnett, said: “The Council has no plans to introduce a tourism levy in the Vale of Glamorgan.”

However, the tourism tax has been welcomed by others, such as the leader of Gwynedd Council, who said that it was needed to deal with matters such as waste disposal.

Welsh Conservatives leader Andrew RT Davies however said that the Conwy Council leader’s comments showed that the tourism tax wasn’t wanted in Wales.

“Conwy Council leader says it would be hard to justify implementing a tourism tax in the county,” he said. “Another council leader backs away from Labour’s toxic tourism tax.

“The tax will risk businesses and livelihoods across Wales at a time when the cost of living is so high.”

‘Risks’

The Welsh Government, on 20 September, launched a public consultation on proposals to give councils the powers to introduce the fee paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales.

The tax is not due to be introduced until 2024, but some business groups such as Mid Wales Tourism have already raised concerns that the consultation could be damaging business confidence.

Overall, tourism industries accounted for 11.3% of employment (151,000 jobs) in Wales in 2020, according to the Welsh Government’s figures.

Andrew RT Davies wrote in the Daily Express on Saturday that a tourism tax in Wales would turn the country into a land of “betting shops, tanning salons and tumbleweeds”.

“Our tourism and hospitality sector accounts for one in seven jobs in Wales. Labour want to slap a tax on our tourism industry,” Andrew RT Davies said.

“That risks our livelihoods in our communities.

“Under their policies, Wales would be nothing but betting shops, tanning salons and tumbleweeds.”

Writing before the start of the Conservative Party conference, he added that readers should “let Labour’s historic, systematic mismanagement of Wales be a stark warning to people across the UK”.

“The cost of Labour is enormous. Just look at Wales.”


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SundanceKid
SundanceKid
2 months ago

The services that tourists access during their vacations will still need to be paid for. So, who is he expecting to continue to pay for them, as well as the increase in taxes to ho along with it? Local taxpayers of course! So, what these conservatives, independents and Labour councillors are essentially saying is, they are happy for local people to pay for the essential services and the associated tax increases during an unprecedented cost-of-living crisis, but not the tourist who comes here for the odd visit. As usual, Wales is being treated like a playground. Time as a nation… Read more »

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
2 months ago

If the Conway area is suffering, it’ll be largely because of the Council’s chronic dysfunction. Poor services, poor support for schools and cronyism. With Mr McCoubrey leading the circus.

Rhufawn Jones
Rhufawn Jones
2 months ago

Pa syndod. Saisaddolwyr ydynt ill dau. A dyna unig ddiben Cymru ar ddiwedd y dydd, ynte – cynnig gwyliau rhad a golygfeydd braf i bobl eraill. Trueni fod yna frodorion i sbwylio’r peth.

Llyn
Llyn
2 months ago

One thing that is not noted much is that the Welsh Conservatives, who go into every election saying they want to see more devolution down from the Senedd to local authorities, consistently fight against any policies that provide devolution down from the Senedd to local authorities. Be that on second homes, taxes, voting reform, etc. Don’t they also want to actually take away most local authority powers regarding schools?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
2 months ago

Tourism tax can’t be justified?

From a council that charges people to use public toilets, that’s a bit rich!

Quornby
Quornby
2 months ago

Conwy obviously have a council problem.

The original mark
The original mark
2 months ago

I know you shouldn’t judge a book by its cover but, that independent Councillor looks and sounds just like a tory? On a bit of a tangent, doesn’t RT owe the electorate an explanation as to where he’s been hiding these last few weeks?

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

Where has he been? Muck spreading. He is a farmer after all.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
2 months ago

Is this council not facing an £18.5M black hole in their finances? Is he cutting social services or education or what?

Mr Williams
Mr Williams
2 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Well there is certainly not enough money going into the school I work in. The building is falling apart!

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

The complicated Conwy coalition mix and Llandudno Promenade mafia of local MS Janet FS seem to be holding sway there currently.

Charles Coombes
Charles Coombes
2 months ago

The tax is needed to pay for roads toilets waste disposal footpath maintenance etc that are used by visitors.

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