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BHA responds to Tory-DUP deal

The British Hospitality Asssociation (BHA) has commended the Theresa May’s Conservatives for including tourism VAT in considerations for a ‘confidence and supply’ deal with the DUP.

It applauded the government for recognising the need to “examine how Northern Ireland’s businesses are impacted by the UK’s high rates of tourism VAT.” A detailed report will be commissioned and published as part of this agreement.

As part of the deal, Northern Ireland will receive £1.5bn funding to be spent on infrastructure, health and education over the next two years. The 10 DUP MPs will also support the Tories in Brexit negotiations and security legislation.

Ufi Ibrahim, chief executive of the British Hospitality Association said: “Reducing tourism VAT across the UK is a key pillar of the BHA’s recommendations to government to support the UK’s fourth largest industry and we look forward to working with the Treasury and leading the industry’s representations to this detailed report.

“The UK’s tourism VAT rate at 20% is double the European average. Northern Ireland’s hospitality and tourism businesses risk losing customers to the Republic of Ireland where Tourism VAT is 9%.”

She added: “We have been calling for a reduction in UK rate of Tourism VAT to 5% to create 121,000 jobs, increase UK export earnings from tourism and bring in £4.6bn to the Treasury over 10 years.”

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