The Hospitality industry in Wales can do without the extra worry of a Visitor Levy hanging over cash-strapped businesses, UKHospitality Cymru has warned.
“This industry needs more TLC and less taxes,” said David Chapman, UKHospitality Cymru Executive Director, speaking in advance of this week’s scheduled Senedd Welsh Conservative motion that calls for an end to Levy plans. “After two long years of commercial instability, with enforced closures and restrictions, we are now facing a costs and viability crisis and the last thing we need is even more taxation.
“VAT up 7.5 percentage points; National Insurance Contributions up, Business Rates back, food inflation soaring and energy costs through the roof, we are barely able to break even. Giving our customers, who are feeling the pinch badly themselves, even more to pay can only drive them into the arms of competitors.
“Tourist taxes may operate in other parts of Europe but they don’t have 20 per cent VAT to deal with – in fact some have half of our VAT rates. We want to work constructively with Welsh Government to ensure our tourism sector can contribute to our national recovery.
“It’s the wrong tax at the wrong time,” he said.
UKHospitality Cymru has also joined with other trades bodies to oppose the extension of qualifying letting days to curtail legitimate self-catering businesses from claiming business rates, another proposal that is opposed by the Welsh Conservatives’ motion for debate on Wednesday.
“The new 182 letting threshold – up from 70 – is too much and will damage many family concerns and farm diversifications if it comes in from next April as planned. It will also cause collateral damage for pubs, bars and restaurants in areas affected,” he said.