Sunak agrees Plaid-Labour tourism tax ‘bad for the economy and the UK’
Rishi Sunak has agreed with a Welsh Conservative MP that the Plaid-Labour cooperation agreement in the Senedd is “bad for the economy and bad for our United Kingdom”.
Speaking in the House of Commons, the Chancellor said Jamie Wallis had made an “excellent point” about the Welsh Government when the Bridgend MP criticised the tourism tax proposed in the cooperation agreement signed by Plaid Cymru and Welsh Labour.
Jamie Wallis had said that the tourism tax would “do significant damage to Porthcawl” in his constituency.
“Does my right hon. Friend agree that imposing a new tax on a sector already hit hard by Welsh Government restrictions is further evidence that Labour-nationalist coalitions are bad for business, bad for the economy and bad for our United Kingdom?” he asked.
Rishi Sunak responded that “My hon. Friend makes an excellent point about the Welsh Government.”
He said that the UK Government were cutting VAT and business tax, and that he hoped that the Welsh Government would follow suit and do the same in Wales.
Speaking in the summer the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, Lee Waters, said that the taxes were “commonplace across the world” and he accused the Conservatives of not being “serious about governing” by criticising the plans.
“Elected Councils would have the option to levy it, or not. This is commonplace across the world. Does it ‘damage’ the economies of Berlin and Barcelona?”
Airbnb have said that they will back Welsh Government plans for a tourism tax in Wales, and wanted to work with them to develop the policy in a bid to tackle “overtourism”.
A spokesperson for Airbnb, who allow travellers to book hundreds of properties in Wales, told Nation.Cymru that they already had already signed more than 1,000 regulatory and tax agreements globally and were used to collecting applicable taxes around the world.
“We support plans for a tourist tax in Wales and welcome the opportunity to work with Welsh leaders to make it a success, as we have done already by helping generate nearly £2.5 billion in tourist tax revenue in approximately 30,000 jurisdictions around the world,” the spokesperson said.