The UK tourism industry has long voiced its concerns at the disadvantage it faces as VAT is applied to tourism in the UK at the standard rate, 20%, whereas most EU member countries apply VAT to tourism at a reduced rate, as is specifically permitted.
A recent report carried out by Deloitte indicates that reducing VAT on visitor accommodation and attractions would create 80,000 jobs and provide a Net Present Value fiscal return to the Exchequer over 10 years of £2.6 billion (2011 prices).
The most recent report in November of this year, using the Treasury’s own model, was undertaken by Professor Adam Blake of Bournemouth University. His conclusion is that reducing tourism VAT is one of “…the most efficient, if not the most efficient, means of generating GDP gains at low cost to the exchequer that we have seen with the CGE model”.
A new website – http://www.cuttourismvat.co.uk/ – for the VAT campaign has been launched in order to provide background information on the rationale for lowering VAT on tourism goods and services to 5% and to keep those interested informed on progress that is being made in lobbying on this issue.
To support the campaign, please either go to the website or email the campaign manager direct on firstname.lastname@example.org. Current supporters include RDO, Tourism Alliance, Compass Hotels, Travelodge, Millennium & Copthorne, Federation of Small Businesses, to name but a few.