Beware holiday goers, looks like Labour are planning a new ‘holiday tax’!

As if those of us going on holiday aren’t taxed enough, there is new uproar in the Commons as rumours are abound regarding Labour’s new plans to introduce a tourism levy on hotels throughout the UK!  The Tories claim that a new ‘holiday tax’ will ruin coastal towns and Britain overall of vital tourism livelihoods.  In response, Sadiq Khan, Shadow Lord Chancellor and widely tipped to be Labour’s Mayoral candidate, responded by saying that the levy will help to sustain attractions and infrastructure investment.

Barcelona, Amsterdam, Hamburg and Venice currently have such a levy in place, which are equivalent to approximately £5 per night, and Khan is keen to follow in their footsteps.  Labour’s Chairman of the Political and Constitutional Affairs Committee also supports the proposed ‘holiday tax’, adding that town halls should be free to charge a tourism tax.

Eric Pickles, the Local Government Secretary, hits back, claiming that the ‘holiday tax’ plans will hit the hard workers, increasing the cost of living and affecting jobs in popular tourist locations around the UK.  Maria Miller, Culture Secretary, added that the plans will affect people wishing to holiday in this country and potentially drive people away.

As with most proposed plans by any government, be they in power or opposition, what follows is a game of ‘tit-for-tat’ between various members of the political parties as they both try and gain ground on each other, as well as the loyalty of the voters.  Then comes the subtle (or not so subtle in most cases!) blame culture; you caused this or that…  At the end of the day, the tourism industry, tourists and us, i.e. the voters, are the ones that will suffer.  However, it is a double-edged sword; the very attractions that encourage tourists to come to the UK need to be maintained and improved, as does the country’s infrastructure, but improvement costs money and the purse strings are strained as it is…

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