This is an issue with enormous importance to the constituency.
Tourism is one of the areas biggest employers and earners. We rely on visitors to keep the cash flowing. Collectively the industry is worth many millions of pounds. But the high rate of VAT levied on everything puts a large and unwelcome burden on local tourist businesses. I see their point and have joined a campaign to persuade the Government to ease the burden.
We have been banging the drum since before the Budget and right up to the Autumn Statement – but so far to no avail.
I recently wrote to the Chancellor of the Exchequer about this matter and will be raising the issue whenever I am able. VAT on Tourism is very much lower in many parts of Europe. This is placing us in a non-competitive position for such a vital portion of the Somerset economy. I have held talks locally with tourist leaders and I am in no doubt of their feelings. The House of Commons Library has produced an informative document about the subject which can be read here: VAT on TOURISM