November 27, 2014
Burnham-On-Sea's MP calls on Chancellor to cut 'tourism tax'

Burnham-On-Sea's MP has this week called on the Chancellor to announce a tax cut for tourism businesses in next week's Autumn Statement.

Tessa Munt is among nearly 100 MPs who are campaigning for the Chancellor to slash VAT for accommodation and attractions from 20% to 5% to bring the UK in line with the rest of Europe.

Such a change would deliver a financial boost to Burnham-On-Sea's tourism industry and potentially create scores of new jobs.

"It is ludicrous that currently it's cheaper to hop on a plane to France or Spain where holidaymakers pay less for their accommodation and for entry to attractions," Tessa told

"As we know, the weather in the UK can’t always be relied upon, so the Government must do everything possible to encourage people to take holidays and short breaks locally."

"The South West economy is heavily reliant on tourism. 3,000 people’s livelihoods in Somerset alone depend on the industry. In parts of Somerset almost one in five jobs depends on the industry."

"Cutting VAT on tourism would be a bold move and could create a further 5,000 jobs, boost our economy to the tune of £150million, and encourage employers to invest in our towns and villages, making them even more attractive to visitors."

"Unlike the Caravan Tax, where we persuaded the Minister to do a U-turn, this campaign has been a longer slog. I’ve met with local business in Somerset, asked questions in Parliament, and have had meetings with the Treasury Minister."

Ian Jefferies, Burnham's tourist manager, welcomed the proposals. He told "Anything that can help local tourism businesses has got to be positive."

"Some accommodation and tourism attractions have had a difficult year, particularly after last winter's floods, so this proposed VAT cut would be very welcome. It could create more local jobs and help local businesses through increased trade."

The MPs want the proposal to be part of the Chancellor's Autumn Statement, which is set to be announced on 3rd December.

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