Welsh Government Minister hits back at Tory criticism of ‘tourism tax’
A Welsh Government Minister has hit back at criticism from the Tories of a proposed tourism tax.
Lee Waters, the Deputy Minister for Climate Change, responded after former Tory Senedd leader Paul Davies, claimed it could “seriously damage” local economies.
According to Waters they are “commonplace across the world” and he accused the Conservatives of not being “serious about governing”.
The First Minister Mark Drakeford recently announced in the Senedd that he will explore the introduction of a tourism tax in Wales.
He suggested that “a tourism tax, properly done, will benefit the industry because what it will allow those local authorities to do is to invest in the things that make those areas attractive to tourists in the first place”.
In response to Conservative criticism of the move, Lee Waters said: “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?
“This is just a search for another ‘wedge’ issue from a party that isn’t serious about governing.”
Paul Davies said: “It seems to me that the Welsh Gov has long been pushing for a tourism tax in Wales, despite fierce opposition from the sector.
“If this tax is introduced, it would have a significant effect on holiday-makers & could seriously damage the local economies of many parts of Wales.
“Businesses in Pembrokeshire have made it clear that they do not want a tax or levy introduced & instead of burdening the sector further, Ministers in Cardiff Bay should be spending their time and efforts working on proposals to supporting & developing the sector further.
“A tourism tax is the last thing the sector needs as it recovers from the Covid pandemic and the very idea that Welsh Government Ministers think this is the way forward shows how out of touch they are with businesses across the country”.