Tourism tax will turn Wales into land of ‘betting shops, tanning salons and tumbleweeds’ says Andrew RT Davies
The leader of the Welsh Conservative has said that a tourism tax in Wales would turn the country into a land of “betting shops, tanning salons and tumbleweeds”.
Writing in the Daily Express, Andrew RT Davies said that one in seven jobs in Wales depended on tourism and that a visitor levy, as the Welsh Government have called it, would “risks our livelihoods in our communities”.
The Welsh Government, on 20 September, launched a public consultation on proposals to give councils the powers to introduce the fee paid by people staying overnight in accommodation in Wales.
The tax is not due to be introduced until 2024, but some business groups such as Mid Wales Tourism have already raised concerns that the consultation could be damaging business confidence.
Overall, tourism industries accounted for 11.3% of employment (151,000 jobs) in Wales in 2020, according to the Welsh Government’s figures.
“Our tourism and hospitality sector accounts for one in seven jobs in Wales. Labour want to slap a tax on our tourism industry,” Andrew RT Davies said.
“That risks our livelihoods in our communities.
“Under their policies, Wales would be nothing but betting shops, tanning salons and tumbleweeds.”
Writing before the start of the Conservative Party conference, he added that readers should “let Labour’s historic, systematic mismanagement of Wales be a stark warning to people across the UK”.
“The cost of Labour is enormous. Just look at Wales.”
Andrew RT Davies also said that Labour Welsh Government’s co-operation agreement with Plaid Cymru shows that UK Labour will get into bed with the SNP.
Keir Starmer has ruled out any deal with the SNP to govern in the event of a hung parliament after the next General Election.
However, Andrew RT Davies said that “if Labour gain power, and if Keir Starmer enters 10 Downing Street, we will see lower wages, longer waiting lists, worse education outcomes and higher taxes, we’ll see Labour’s choking of opportunity spread across our great Union”.
“And yes, despite the rhetoric at Labour conference, Labour will get into bed with the Scottish nationalists, just like they have with the separatists in Wales.”
The start of the Conservative Party conference follows a tumultuous week which saw the pound slump to a record low against the dollar and the Bank of England step in to prevent the collapse of the pensions industry in the wake of Chancellor Kwasi Kwarteng’s £45 billion package of unfunded tax cuts.
Liz Truss arrived in Birmingham for the start of the annual Conservative Party conference as another opinion poll showed Labour with a big lead over the Tories.
The survey by Opinium, put Labour on 46%, 19 points clear of the Conservatives on 27%. On the issue of the economy it found that a one-point lead for the Tories a week ago had become a 19-point advantage for Labour.
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