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Tourism tax ‘an act of economic self-harm in order to virtue signal’ say Welsh Conservatives

26 Nov 2022 3 minute read
Chirk castle picture by DeFacto (CC BY-SA 4.0). Right, Tom Giffard picture by Senedd Cymru.

The Welsh Conservatives have said that the Welsh Government’s forthcoming tourism tax is an “act of economic self-harm in order to virtue signal”.

Writing in Conservative Home, Senedd Member Tom Giffard said that Labour “effectively uses Wales as its laboratory for bad ideas” to “churn out a steady stream of disastrous policies in order to chase headlines”.

The approach was a “precursor to how Labour would govern from Westminster” aimed not at “enhancing the tourism sector, but of taxing it to oblivion,” he said.

“1-in-7 jobs in Wales rely on tourism,” he said. “That’s nearly 200,000 livelihoods that will be put at risk by this decision. Imagine this policy rolled out across the UK: the decimation of our country’s reputation as a worthwhile place to visit.”

According to the Welsh Government’s figures, tourism Industries accounted for 11.3% of employment (151,000) in Wales in 2020. However 55% of those jobs were part-time.

He added: “Labour’s determination to press ahead with this policy during times is a sign of their arrogant entitlement based on their perpetual rule.

“Jeremy Corbyn is no longer at the helm, but his socialist acolytes and cheerleaders remain.”

‘Millionaires’

Tom Giffard added that many other countries had brought in a tourism tax in order to tackle over-tourism rather than using the money in order to invest in the tourism industry.

“Venice decided to introduce a tourism tax precisely in order to deter tourists from visiting as they were concerned about visitor numbers,” he said.

“Bhutan has recently raised their tourism tax with the same expressed rationale. Their decisions clearly show that these taxes are used to deter, rather than encourage, visitors to an area.

“We are left speculating as to how the tax will even be applied. There has been no guarantee that this tax would see any improvement to tourism offers in local communities .

“The proceeds are likely to get used by councils to fund other programmes such as free school meals. We must not forget that the ‘introduction of tourism levies’ was a core tenet of Labour and Plaid’s cooperation agreement.

“Councils have already said that the school meals policy is costing more than they have been allocated for its implementation. This leaves Wales in the bizarre situation where we will be taxing one of our most valued industries to feed the children of millionaires.”

The Welsh Government is currently running a consultation on what they are calling a tourism levy, which closes on 13 December.

They say that the aim of the tourism tax will be to support communities which have large amounts of tourism.

“The critical infrastructure that supports tourism should be supported by all those who rely on it,” they said.

“This includes keeping beaches and pavements clean, as well as maintaining local parks, toilets, and footpaths. Investing and maintaining these enhances the reputation of the destination and supports the visitor economy.”


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George Atkinson
George Atkinson
2 months ago

The anti Welsh hypocrisy. It’s ok for English counties in England run by the toryscum to do it but when it comes to us doing it we are racist agaist the colonialists.

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 months ago

Dull boy has missed out on holidays abroad where he would have experienced tourism taxes of various kinds. Or have all his holidays been funded by benefactors? Perhaps Twm Twp might care to explain.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
2 months ago

The Welsh Tories don’t care about Cymru, they are just trying to score points for the English Conservatives that’s all…hence all the talk about our country being a “testing ground for Labour” and a “precursor to how Labour would govern from Westminster”, they know they can’t get any political purchase here so they are using the Senedd to try and attack English Labour, which I might add, is a very different party to the Camronian-Labour Party that Kier Starmer presides over in England…silly, reductive and a waste of their own time. …they forget to ask “Why would the Senedd want… Read more »

Arwyn
Arwyn
2 months ago

Something for Giffard to look up – over-tourism. I’ve nothing against the industry per se, however it really does require the right developments in the right places. It needs careful planning. Gifford accuses the Welsh Govt of virtue signalling. He is a hypocrite. He’s playing to his own gallery of right wing rogues with his hysterical rhetoric – in and of itself a dubious ethical exercise. The Tories’ bias towards Anglo-British sensitivities is apparent. They put themselves in complete conflict with our own Cambro-British cultural needs. This is why they attract so much ire. They should pay heed to the… Read more »

Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
Y Tywysog Lloegr a Moscow
2 months ago

STILL braying on about the policy implemented successfully on at least 30 other nations (including England) which would somehow be disastrous in Cymru alone?

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 months ago

When you hear the terms ‘Virtue Signalling’, ‘Woke’, ‘Lefty’, ‘Remoaner’, and ‘Snowflake’, you know you’re listening to a Daily Failer, Torygrapher, GB Spewser racist and colonialist people hating underlife openly self identifying as such who should be ignored immediately. The rest of us decent poor souls who have to suffer rubbing shoulders with these humanoids simply do not use these terms.

Donna OBrien
Donna OBrien
2 months ago

Corbyn living rent free in Giffards head. Why do the Torys think this is a good insult, even Sunak’s had to stop it because he was getting laughed at. It’s Giffard gaslighting his readers to chase headlines more like!
Anyone know of any millionaires that send there kids to state schools? I don’t, what planet does Giffard live on.

Richard
Richard
2 months ago

Whatever the merits of a tourism tax may be in principle, you can understand the concern of people in the industry when they think that now is not the best time to be imposing such an additional burden on them. The industry has been to hell and back in the pandemic and it is now facing a pincer movement with the cost of living crisis putting additional costs on them on the one hand and squeezing tourists’ spending power on the other.

Gareth
Gareth
2 months ago

As an act of “economic self harm”, nothing will ever top Brexit, nothing. And if we listen to Tory’s, the whole world is wrong, regarding a tourist tax, and they alone are right, just like the Brexit argument they put forward. More sound bites just to look and sound good to London masters, is all that this message is.

Steve A Duggan
Steve A Duggan
2 months ago

Tourism in France is 9.7% of the country’s GDP – It’s huge and it has a tourism tax. Since 2018 the amount of visiters to the country has jumped by 20 million – the tourism tax has not stopped people visiting. The Conservatives are wrong – plain and simple.

Llyn
Llyn
2 months ago

Incredible that the Welsh Conservatives are banging on about a Tourism tax in Wales that may or may not happen years in the future, while at the same time their party is raising taxes to levels never seen before and after they enthusiastically backed Truss’ unfunded mini budget that has cost the UK 30 billion pounds! They are completly out of touch.

Mawkernewek
2 months ago

“to feed the children of millionaires”
Hard times, inflation being what it is, some millionaires have to send their children to state schools these days.
What they really object to I should think about the idea of universal free school meals, is nothing to do with the money, it is the feeding of the children of poorer people, without them being marked out and stigmatised as The Poor.

Llefain
Llefain
2 months ago

I’m going to need all Con members to turn in a 500 word essay on the origins, meaning, and usage of the term “virtue signalling”. A passing grade will be defined as getting one signal point correct and stated clearly enough to make any sense to the examiner. A pass with distinction and patronising head pats will be awarded if the candidate can apply the basic principles and concepts to their own statements and behaviour. For extra credit they can also hand in 200 words on the basic origins and meaning of the word “woke”. Alternatively, credit will be awarded… Read more »

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
2 months ago

Brexit wiped out tax free shopping for EU visitors. In their roles as Chancellor, Sunak removed the perk, Kwarteng tried to bring it back and Hunt stamped it out again. Whatever the rights or wrongs of a tourism tax, one movement of hypocritical morons who have no business commenting on it is … yes you’ve guessed it.

Steve George
Steve George
2 months ago

Either it’s “virtue signalling”, i.e. a meaningless gesture that has no impact, or it’s “an act of economic self-harm”. It can’t logically be both. There you are though, before they were the nasty party, the Tories were the stupid party. Now they’re the stupid, nasty party!

Of course, there is a third possibility. That is, that a Tourism Tax is an unexceptional and proportionate way of addressing the problems that Tourism brings to communities affected by it.

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