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Tourism tax ‘ultra-left-wing policy idea straight from the Morning Star’ says Conservative Senedd Member

27 Apr 2022 4 minute read
Tom Giffard speaking in the Senedd

The tourism tax proposed as part of the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru’s cooperation agreement is an “ultra-left-wing policy idea straight from the middle pages of the Morning Star,” according to a Conservative Senedd Member.

Tom Giffard said that in other parts of the world, such as Venice, a tourism tax had been introduced as a means of attempting to curb visitor numbers, adding that it would have the same impact in Wales.

A proposal put forward by the Conservatives in the Senedd called on the Welsh Government to abandon “damaging proposals” for a tourism tax in Wales.

“So, they say that the introduction of a tourism tax would have no impact at all on visitor numbers to some of our key tourism locations in Wales,” Tom Giffard said.

“But I thought Ministers might be keen to hear the latest from Venice, one of the world’s leading tourism destinations, that has now said it’s introducing a tourism tax to dissuade further visitors from attending.

“Yes, you heard that right; it turns out that extra taxes for visitors mean fewer people want to visit.

“We also know that, from my questioning of both the First Minister and the finance Minister, that there is no assurance at all that such a tax will lead to any additional money being spent on improving tourism offers in these areas.

“The Government either cannot or will not be able to prevent councils from deleting existing tourism budgets and replacing them with this tax instead.”

‘Empowering’

The Welsh Government responded that tourism levies were common place across the world, with revenues used to the benefit of local communities, tourists and businesses, which in turn help make tourism sustainable and successful.

“Tourism levies, of course, as we’ve heard, are very commonplace across the world, with most countries in Europe applying them,” Minister for Finance and Local Government, Rebecca Evns, said.

“They’re proportionate by design and they represent a small percentage of the overall bill for consumers. There’s little evidence that tourism levies have a negative economic impact. They’re used to benefit those local areas and communities that choose to use them.

“The powers will be discretionary, empowering local authorities to make their own judgments and decide what’s best for their communities.

“Of course, I welcome all views and evidence as we continue to work collaboratively with our partners to help shape these proposals. A major consultation will take place later this year, and that will be an opportunity for all views to be heard and considered.

“Through this process we’ll design a tax that’s aligned to our core tax principles, and one that works for communities in Wales.”

‘Principle’

Plaid Cymru’s Mabon ap Gwynfor argued that the Conservative position was inconsistent as Tory-run councils were introducing tourism charges in England.

“Conservatives run the Isle of Wight, and they are proposing a tourism tax for day-trippers,” he said. “The Tory-run Bath and North East Somerset Council have repeatedly called for a tourist tax for Bath.

“You complain that it would make Wales more uncompetitive. Well, Bourton-on-the-Water in the Cotswolds introduced a tourism charge last year. By your own logic, this should result in all visitors going to nearby Chipping Norton or Cirencester, but no, Bourton enjoyed a packed Easter again this year.”

“The principle has already been accepted in any case. Holiday destinations across the UK have varying seasonal charges, for instance in the car parks, with car parking charges more expensive in the visitor season and cheaper in the winter. This is nothing more than a levy on visitors.

“Why is it that the Conservatives think it’s okay for the private sector to practise this policy, but not Government?”


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The original mark
The original mark
4 months ago

Seriously? Do these idiots ever lift their heads from the trough long enough to see what other countries do. Or even what business leaders are saying in the UK?

Last edited 4 months ago by The original mark
hdavies15
hdavies15
4 months ago

Poor twp Tom has never been on a foreign holiday and been asked to pay a small tax on arrival or departure from his hotel. Seems like an insular defective soul who is unfit for a paid representational role.

Philip Jones
Philip Jones
4 months ago

Has this tosspot never been to France? They have had a tourist tax for years.. Who votes for him?

CJPh
CJPh
4 months ago

The idea of paying to see our beautiful land may work – our economy cannot be predicated on tourism. As long as we work hard to market Wales as an unmissable destination for holidaymakers, they will still come. The culture itself needs to be highlighted (alongside the natural beauty, obviously). Making Wales attractive as a filming destination, as well as getting some media that tells genuine Welsh stories (not The Sopranos… But in Port Talbot. Or Scandi-Noir crime dramas… But in super low crime Aberystwyth) will motivate people to come discover Cymru, not treat us as a low-cost Costa del… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by CJPh
Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago
Reply to  CJPh

I agree. Wales besides having an abundance of breathtaking sandy beaches , lofty mountain peaks, and numerous waterfalls, also have history & culture to match the best in the world.

Last edited 4 months ago by Y Cymro
Gareth
Gareth
4 months ago

When are the Tory party in Cymru going to come up with something sensible to say. One line slogans that copy Westminster, but are not as effective, are coming weekly thick and fast, but only show a lack of understanding of issues, and do nothing to dispel the image of a boot licking servant of London masters. They are truly irrelevant to any debate in Cymru.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
4 months ago

Welsh Tory hypocrite Tom Gifford MS calls a tourism tax in Wales ultra-left wing. And he attacks this Labour/Plaid policy when the same is occuring in Tory-run councils throughout his beloved England laughable. It seems only Wales is some sort of Stalinist satilite out of step with the rest of the world when in fact numerous countries, England included, utilise their national & local tax systems to levy a tourist tax in areas of outstanding beauty to protect & maintain for the enjoyment for future generations to come. And don’t forget, this is the same man whose supported his Westminster… Read more »

Leigh Richards
Leigh Richards
4 months ago

The Isle of Wight’s tory council are of course well known for distributing free copies of the Morning Star to householders on the island 😉

Geraint
Geraint
4 months ago
Reply to  David

Just returned from a break in Mallorca and decided to check if I’d payed a tourist tax by clicking on your link. Turns out we did. It will not stop us going back. The quality of the island as a visitor attraction is what was key and I guess the other passengers in the full plane of tourists flying out if Cardiff would agreed. We will definitely be going back. The same is true for Wales. Fantastic locations that attract a range of holiday makers. It is clear to me that there will be some sort ot tourism tax that… Read more »

Argol fawr!
Argol fawr!
4 months ago

Tory clap trap. That’s the best of ‘Welsh conservatism’ or in reality English conservatism. Norfolk, Cornwall and other English, tory regions are crying out for similar policies to deal with community carnage by 2nd homes.

About time the conservatives about in Wales stoped referring themselves as Welsh. They have no affinity towards Wales, only a smash snd grab attitude.

Llinos
Llinos
4 months ago

My the narratives these clueless Tories invent in their heads! Are the dozens of other countries who apply a tourist tax “anti-English dirty commies” or just us?

Erisian
Erisian
4 months ago

I’ve been to Boughton-on-the-water, it’s the architypal smug chocolate box village in the Cotswolds where a 2 bed bothy costs £500,000, despite the lack of a servants wing.
They have bought their piece of Tory Heaven and frankly, they don’t visitors at any price!
Can’t have riff-raff standing around gawping, don’t-‘cha know!
It’s the place where a man who bought a bright yellow car had it vandalized because it was lowering the tone.

I.Humphrys
I.Humphrys
4 months ago

‘Ultra Left’………..’Ultra Right’………….or ‘Sensible’?

Llinos
Llinos
4 months ago
Reply to  I.Humphrys

This twit has used up all the hyperbole. There is none remaining. In the arms race for most hyperbolic adjective, political stance directional descriptors went from went from very … to far … to extreme … to ultra. What is more hyperbolic than Ultra? Ultra is more than Mega, or Super Duper, or very very very very. Imagine what apocryphal nonsense he can come up with for something more earth shattering than a moderate tourism tax. Especially given his party has caused / presided over an energy cost crisis, a food cost crisis, a doing business cost crisis and the… Read more »

Last edited 4 months ago by Llinos
The Original Mark
The Original Mark
4 months ago

Venice hosts 20 million visitors every year, consequently, they have a serious issue with the number of visitors and will be using various methods to reduce or control the number of visitors they receive, including tourism tax, large cruise ships have also already been banned due to the pollution and damage they cause, But they are using the tourism tax which isn’t a set figure and varies from location, time of year and age of visitor to help ongoing repairs and running costs of tourist attractions and sites around Venice, So for this tory pillock to use Venice as an… Read more »

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