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Labour and Plaid’s tourism tax plan a ‘nationalist dog whistle’ says Welsh Conservative leader

13 Feb 2022 2 minutes Read
Andrew RT Davies in the Senedd

The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has hit out at Welsh Labour and Plaid Cymru’s proposed tourist tax as a “nationalist dog whistle”.

Andrew RT Davies, MS for South Wales Central, was responding to a tweet from Kate Nicholls, CEO UK Hospitality in which she said: “Welsh hospitality has seen biggest fall in revenue over pandemic and a far slower rate of recovery.

“A tourist tax would deter visitors to Wales and with businesses already paying £1 in every £3 earned in tax make many unviable. Need strategy to boost demand turbo charge recovery”.

In a quote tweet, Mr Davies said: “The Labour/Plaid tourist tax plan is a nationalist dog whistle that will put a roadblock on our road to recovery. After a battering from Labour’s restrictions, now Welsh hospitality is facing a battering from the separatists.”

Tourism provides a substantial economic contribution to Wales with tourism-related expenditure reaching more than £5bn annually in 2019.

A tourism tax would raise revenue for local authorities enabling them to manage services and infrastructure which makes tourism a success, according to Labour and Plaid.

In October, the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru have confirmed a consultation on proposals for a local visitor levy will launch in autumn 2022.

Rebecca Evans, Minister for Finance and Local Government, said a levy would enable destinations in Wales to be enjoyed for generations to come.

Plaid Cymru’s Designated Member Cefin Campbell MS said that the “measure will help support a sustainable rather than an extractive tourism sector”.

Regressive

This week, North Wales Tourism chief executive Jim Jones hit out at the “regressive” move, saying it would be an “absolute disaster”, which would “damage an industry that is already reeling” from the pandemic, and is already “already heavily overtaxed” in Wales.

The Welsh Government’s Programme for Government, and the Cooperation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru, both contain commitments to introduce levies.

Formal consultation on draft legislative proposals for a visitor levy will launch in the autumn, providing a platform for a range of views to be considered.


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paul stephens
paul stephens
3 months ago

the tax will help cover the losses in money from the tory government for the last 10 years which andrew seems to constantly forget and most tax money goes to the tory government again in westminister we have to change things here and alot

Roberto
Roberto
3 months ago

This makes absolute sense. Many countries already have this and I doubt anyone would object to paying a relatively small sum to help ensure tourism in Wales is sustainable (it isn’t in many places at present). Revenue raised could be used to help repair damage eg to footpaths/roads/environment, clear extra rubbish etc ie recompense for the local population which has to endure huge influxes of visitors and all the associated problems such as gridlocked roads (not every local owns or has a job in a tourism related business). Tourism bosses should see this as a positive as I can see… Read more »

G.A. Williams
G.A. Williams
3 months ago

Tonight’s ‘Countryfile’ programme (BBC) featuring Eryri was very pertinent to this issue. The cost of maintaining and repairing paths in this area—as shown in the programme— must be very high indeed. This, of course, is only one instance of tourist-induced expense which falls on local authorities in Welsh rural holiday areas. Tourism on the scale experienced in many parts of Wales  in summer 2021 comes at a cost. Numerous countries levy tourist taxes. The Welsh hospitality industry protests too much.. 

Paul
Paul
3 months ago

I feel unclean sharing a nationality with this pos.

Jeff Williams-Jones
Jeff Williams-Jones
3 months ago

Tourist tax? We also need a Tory tax: they’re costing the country a fortune.

Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
3 months ago

He might have a point if he suggested a wealth tax instead.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
3 months ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

We already have a wealth tax imposed by the UK regime: It is called inflation !
The UK regime’s Bank of England has been printing bank notes without wealth backing, therefore, reducing the value of the pound £.

The UK controlled Conservative party is a waste in Wales as it diverts support away from building a new Wales based EPP party which will act for Wales: A Wales in Europe and the world.

Gareth
Gareth
3 months ago

Some of the most successful economies in the world have a tourist tax, inc Japan, Germany, and most tourist destinations inc Greece and Spain, with Thailand reportedly starting a tourist tax in April. None of these countries suffer due to this tax, so why would Wales? More Tory bluster. Didn’t Airbnb back the call on the tax only a few weeks ago. Same old Tory ‘s, if it is not a Tory Downing St idea, and not happening in England, it must not be allowed here.

Grayham Jones
3 months ago

No more second homes in wales and 100 taxes on all second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 It’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 kick out all English party’s out of wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿

hdavies15
hdavies15
3 months ago

Nice comment from the Welsh Tories’ arch dog whistler ! ARTD doesn’t do irony.

Rhosddu
Rhosddu
3 months ago

The principle adopted in an increasing number countries experiencing mass tourism is “You make the mess, you pay for us to clean it up”. Seems reasonable.

Llyn
Llyn
3 months ago

So let me get this right, the leader of a party which says it wants more powers devolved to local authorities in Wales and criticises the Welsh Government for not devolving more powers to local authorities is criticising the Welsh Government for devolving more powers to local authorities?

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