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Sun newspaper launches campaign to cut tourism VAT to 5%

The tourism industry’s campaign to cut VAT on hotel accommodation and tourism attractions has received a welcome boost with a parallel campaign from The Sun newspaper. 

The paper’s ‘Give us a Break’ campaign, is backing the industry’s own campaign, Cut Tourism VAT, led by the British Hospitality Association (BHA) and its members.

The campaign is calling for a reduction in VAT on hotel accommodation and tourist attractions from 20 per cent to five per cent.

Hundreds of companies have already called on the Chancellor, George Osborne, to make the changes to enable the many regions dependent on tourism to invest in jobs and offer a better deal to tourists who can find cheaper holidays abroad.

Experts predict that the change could create more than 120,000 new jobs.

The reduction in VAT would make domestic holidays cheaper for Britons and the UK tourism industry more competitive internationally.

The Cut Tourism VAT campaign’s supporters range from industry bodies such as the BHA and BALPA, to small B&Bs, family-run attractions, zoos and major international brands.

The campaign claims that for every additional jumbo jet that arrives in the UK from China, £1m is added to the UK economy, £200,000 goes to the Exchequer and 20 full-time jobs are created.

The tourism sector currently runs a £17bn deficit because five British people go abroad on holiday for every two foreign visitors who come in – this situation will only worsen as the pound gets stronger.

Britain is now only one of four European countries to not have cut their tax. Countries such Portugal, Holland and Belgium levy just 6% tax on all hotels, holiday camps and tourist attractions. France and Spain charge 10% tax on staying in hotels and holiday parks, while VAT in German hotels is just 7%.

Graham Wason, chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign, said: “This campaign is about more than just tourism – it’s about the people, communities and jobs driven by it right across the country.

“Ministers need to take a long term view and it’s clear that cutting VAT will offer a vital lift to many areas that have been forgotten for far too long.”

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