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Tory MP hits out at tourism tax plan in Plaid-Labour co-operation deal

23 Nov 2021 3 minutes Read
David Jones MP. Picture by Richard Townshend (CC BY 3.0).

A Tory MP has hit out for a plan for a tourism tax as part of the cooperation deal between Plaid Cymru and Labour in the Senedd.

The deal revealed yesterday includes the introduction of “local tourism levies using local government finance reform legislation”.

It comes after the First Minister said in June that he would “explore the introduction of a tourism tax in Wales,” which are common in other countries with high tourism.

But the Conservative MP for Clwyd West, David Jones, responded by saying that any tax would harm Wales’ tourism industry.

“A tourism tax in Wales would be devastating for an important sector of our economy that is slowly recovering from the damage caused by the pandemic,” he said.

“We should be encouraging quality tourism, not trying to damage it.”

CEO of North Wales Tourism, Jim Jones, also took aim at the proposed tax, saying that it wasn’t a good idea while the industry was recovering from the pandemic.

“If they are a responsible Government, and friends of business, then they should listen to the people that will be affected most,” he said.

“Back when it was proposed in 2017 it was unpopular, That’s why it was dropped. Nothing has changed, apart from the sector trying to get back on track.”

‘Success’

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.

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GW Atkinson
GW Atkinson
6 days ago

Mp’s are becoming less and less relevant to Wales by the day and his parties policy is taking 8 MP’s off us. Now he is surprised that we are taking democracy into our own hands after they steal it off us. F’ing idiot. This is what his actions have caused and now he whines about like a massive baby.

Gareth Wyn
6 days ago
Reply to  GW Atkinson

He is my mothers MP unfortunately and a true anti welsh hooligan, would be very happy to hear suggestions of an alliance to rid us of as many Tory MPs as possible in the next election, now that Plaid and Labour working could be possible

Russell
Russell
6 days ago

Jim Jones may be interested to hear that other countries with tourism industries were also affected by the pandemic yet also have a tourist tax.

This wilful blind eye turned to how other countries’ manage their tourism industries more fairly and sustainably really needs to be called out for what it is: naked self-interest, venal protectionism and profiteering

Jack Bryn
Jack Bryn
6 days ago

I heard David Jones speak at a conference a couple of years ago. His favourite phrase was “in England and Wales”. I thought at the time, how many English MPs use the phrase “in Wales and England”? Says it all!

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
6 days ago

Hypocrite David Jones MP was a useless Welsh Secretary in his time. Worse still, is a member of the ERG (European Research Group) at Westminster that’s caused Wales so many problems, tourism included, with Brexit.

Gareth Wyn
6 days ago
Reply to  Y Cymro

He has lost billons of long term funding from EU. Not just one of the worst tories in wales but in the whole of the Westminster sewer

Steve Duggan
Steve Duggan
6 days ago

There has to be a balance between tourism and its affects on local communities. All the Tories think about is making money and no matter what the cost. There needs to be some sort of tourism tax applied and control of its associated second home ownership,

Grayham Jones
6 days ago

No second homes in wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 take all second homes of them and give them to young people who can’t get on the housing market because of incomers it’s time for a new wales 🏴󠁧󠁢󠁷󠁬󠁳󠁿 we in wales have got to stop being little Englanders and and be proud to be welsh

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