Incentivising us to holiday

By | Category: Travel rumblings

© Dan Sperrin

Let’s face it; holidays cost money. Most of us accept that and view the positive effects of having a holiday as worth it. We even accept things like VAT and APD (Air Passenger Duty) much as we groan, moan and get annoyed by it.
In France they have reduced VAT on accommodation to 5% to encourage tourism. But when Margaret Ritchie, MP for South Down asked the Treasury yesterday whether they had made an assessment on the effect of reducing VAT on our tourism services, she was told that the data to make such an assessment wasn’t collected!
What does that mean? That no-one has bothered to think about the effect it would have? What do we pay these people for?
1.74 million jobs in this country are supported by tourism said the culture department in a reply to Dan Jarvis, MP for Barnsley. So how many more jobs will there be if we have a VAT reduction? How many more of us will be induced to stay because accommodation rates will be cheaper? I can’t answer that question but then, neither can the 20,000 civil servants who work in the culture department or the 22,000 in customs and excise.

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