Labour’s plans to introduce an economically damaging tourism tax, which would cost jobs in Wales, must be abandoned for the sake of the country’s tourism industry, the Welsh Conservatives have warned.
The party will call for Labour’s tax plans to be scrapped during an hour-long Senedd debate on tourism on Wednesday afternoon (April 27).
Welsh Conservatives will also put pressure on Labour to drop its plans to extend the number of days that a property must be let to meet the non-domestic rating requirement amid fears it will undermine many holiday let businesses.
The call for action comes just days after tourism and hospitality groups in Wales urged the Labour Government to rethink its self-catering taxation plans.
From April 2023, a self-catering business not meeting the new threshold would incur council tax for a second home, instead of business rates. Welsh county councils will have the power to increase council tax on all these business by up to 300%.
Welsh Conservatives, who have also continuously called for tourism tax plans to be shelved, believe the Labour administration should be doing all it can to help our tourism industry –not actively seek to punish it.
Welsh Conservative Shadow Minister for Culture, Tourism and Sport, Tom Giffard MS, said:
“Wales is a vibrant country with areas of outstanding natural beauty and top-quality attractions, and it is clear to see why so many holidaymakers choose to stay here.
“However, the Welsh Conservatives fear Wales won’t be the number one destination choice in the future if this Labour Government pushes ahead with its ridiculous double whammy tax plans, which will do nothing but punish businesses by discouraging tourists and ultimately cost people’s jobs.
“At a time when Labour ministers should be a friend to the industry as we look to bounce back from the pandemic, they have decided to be the enemy and punish them with these two additional taxes.
“It is vital Labour ministers stop dictating policy from Cardiff Bay, listen and work with tourism businesses and industry leaders, and drop these economically-illiterate tax plans which will punish hardworking tourism communities across Wales.”