On Wednesday 30th June, Welsh Conservative Member of Parliament for Clwyd South, Simon Baynes MP, criticised the Welsh Labour Government’s proposed tourism tax during Questions to the Wales Office in the Chamber of the House of Commons.
Mr Baynes highlighted the Pontcysyllte World Heritage Site, Llangollen Canal and Steam Railway as examples of vital tourist destinations and said that the tourism and hospitality businesses in his constituency would be hard-hit by Welsh Labour’s proposal. He asked whether the Minister responding would agree with him that the Welsh Labour Government’s plans would be disastrous for the hospitality industry in Wales, particularly as it just comes out of the Covid-19 pandemic.
In response, Wales Office Minister, David TC Davies MP said:
“I absolutely agree with my Hon. Friend and I look forward – I hope – to an invitation to visit his constituency at some point in the future to see some of these superb tourist attractions that are there. And I do agree with him. The UK Government has shown its commitment to the tourism industry by cutting VAT down to 5%. The Welsh Labour Government want to implement a tax on the tourism industry at a time when it is at its most fragile. The UK Government will always want to level-up the economy. Welsh Labour will always want to levy taxes.
Commenting later, Mr Baynes said:
“This tourism tax could devastate hospitality businesses in Clwyd South and the rest of North Wales, which relies heavily on the tourism industry. It will discouraging people from visiting Wales and making the average family holiday much more expensive – at a time when we should be encouraging visitors to come and spend money in our local economies.
“It’s the job of Welsh Government to want to attract people to come and spend money in Wales – not try and discourage them. I was very happy with the Minister’s response, which highlights the contrast between the UK Conservative Government’s support for Wales and Labour’s ill-conceived policies.”