Stirling MP, Steven Paterson, has launched a local campaign to reduce VAT on tourism-related businesses.
In May, Mr Paterson joined a number of MPs in signing a letter calling for VAT to be reduced for tourism and hospitality related businesses. The past five years of growth has resulted in these industries accounting for around 7% of total employment in Scotland, however there are concerns that the increased rated of VAT to 20% is holding back further growth in the sector.
Over the next few weeks, Mr Paterson will be writing to local businesses that operate in these industries for their views on how a reduction in VAT could affect trade. All responses will be collated during August which Mr Paterson will use to make relevant representations to the Chancellor of the Exchequer.
Steven Paterson said:
“The Stirling area benefits hugely from a diversity of rural and urban areas that can boast a breath taking landscape as well as rich historical heritage – all of which contribute to the strong tourism-related industry we have today. However, opportunities for growth and investment are held back by an uncompetitive tax environment.
“I am keen to seek the views of local businesses in this area, those who work in these industries are best placed to give advice on how the tax they pay affects their ability to expand. That is why I am writing to as many locally-based businesses as possible in order to paint a clear picture to the Chancellor on this issue.
“Stirling and Scotland cannot afford to have a Treasury that buries its head in the sand on tax and tourism when visitors to our country pay three times as much VAT as if they had visited France or Germany, or twice as much as Spain or Italy. It is time that the Treasury reviewed the rates of VAT and focussed on growing businesses and jobs in the tourism sector.”