Chancellor’s speech was ‘missed opportunity’
Following the recent Budget review by the British Government, BALPPA chief executive Colin Dawson has expressed his disappointment in the chancellor’s refusal to make any concessions on VAT for members of the tourist industry. Such a move would, he argued, have stimulated a much needed boost to the economy.
Speaking after the chancellor’s Budget speech, which was delivered in Parliament on April 22, Dawson remarked: “This is a missed opportunity to promote British tourism. The chancellor could have included a measure that would have provided a genuine green shoot by stimulating an industry that is capable of playing a major role in moving our economy in the right direction.”
In its Budget submission, the British Association of Leisure Parks, Piers and Attractions argued for a VAT reduction for visitor attractions and accommodation to 5%. Though that signifies a massive cut from the current 15%, Dawson argues that it could stimulate additional sales that would in turn boost treasury revenues and contribute to GDP growth.
“More importantly,” he adds, “the forecast in our independent study clearly shows it could have create up to 23,000 new jobs. This is particularly beneficial when we are hearing of job losses on a daily basis and un-employment is at its highest level for over a decade. I am mystified why the Chancellor did not seize the opportunity to promote British tourism at a time when many people are for the first time in decades seriously thinking about holidaying in the UK rather than going abroad for their holidays.”