Plans for 'bed tax scrapped by Government

CONTROVERSIAL plans to introduce a tourism tax in the UK have been scrapped by the Government.
Industry leaders feared the 'bed tax' would have made the country too expensive for overseas holidaymakers and killed the tourism industry.
But, following a report by Sir Michael Lyons - which suggested that the Government should consult on the costs and benefits of giving local authorities the power to levy taxes on tourism - Government ministers have pulled out of the plans.
Minister for Local Government Phil Woolas revealed that the Government is not inclined to add a tourism tax due to the lack of evidence on its impact.
Kurt Janson, of the Tourism Alliance, added: "The impressive aspect about this statement is the speed with which it was issued. When an independent report such as this is released, the Government has three months to respond to the recommendations and the usual trick is to gauge public opinion over the three months and then respond accordingly just before the deadline.
"So to come out straight-away stating that the Government was not even going to consider the recommendation was a considerable step forward in the Government's understanding of tourism."
The British Hospitality Association had planned to lobby the Government in an attempt to stop the accomodation levies and chief executive Bob Cotton has called its rejection a 'victory for common sense'.
It claimed British people already spend £18 billion more on overseas holidays than Britain earns from overseas visitors and a tourist tax would have increased that imbalance.
Bob said: "For the last three years, we have consistently pointed out the difficulties of introducing a bed tax and emphasised how damaging it would be to the UK tourism economy. We are delighted that common sense has prevailed."
CEO of Best Western Hotels David Clarke had also expressed concern over the plans and the company had even launched on online petition.
He added: "We are obviously delighted that the Government has listened to our concerns and rejected the Lyons inquiry recommendations. It finally brings a close to the tourism industry's long campaign against this proposal."

Return to news.