Merlin Entertainments, owners of Legoland, Alton Towers, Thorpe Park and Warwick Castle, among other attractions, has joined growing calls to cut tax on tourism.
Merlin is backing the Cut Tourism VAT campaign, which is urging government to slash the rate from 20 per cent to five per cent. If that were achieved, the company argues, it would be able to employ an extra 100,000 people and boost economies outside of London by £3bn a year.
The campaign, which is backed by the Business Visits and Events Partnership (BVEP) and nearly 100 MPs across all parties, has lobbied George Osborne to use his autumn statement to implement the cut in order to boost Treasury coffers by as much as £4bn over the next decade.
Campaigners argue the tax take would actually rise through income tax and National Insurance payments gathered.
BVEP Vice-Chair Simon Hughes tells CN: “There is no doubt that the overall impact of such a measure would bring real benefits – not just to some of the world class attractions that the UK has to offer, but for the broader economic prosperity that this government is constantly telling us it wants to achieve. The wider economic impact that all types of visitors bring when they come here is still often underestimated by government, despite the robust figures produced to demonstrate their value to the UK.”
Do you have news for CN? Email: Paul Colston