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