Further call for VAT cut to help Britons holiday at home

Left, the promotional images of Bamburgh Castle on the screens in Heathrow and, right, the image up close.
Left, the promotional images of Bamburgh Castle on the screens in Heathrow and, right, the image up close.

The boss of a major holiday company is urging the Government to reduce VAT in the tourism sector to make it cheaper for people to holiday in the UK.

Dermot King, managing director of Butlin’s and a director of parent company Bourne Leisure, said VAT across the tourism sector should be cut from its current 20 per cent to five per cent.

“I’m not sure the British public realise that they are being taxed harder than almost anyone else in Europe for simply going on holiday in their country,” he told the i newspaper.

“We’re three times more expensive than Germany and twice as expensive as France when it comes to VAT.”

Mr King, who is also chairman of the Cut Tourism VAT campaign, said many British seaside towns are struggling with poverty and that tax cuts would make them more competitive with their European counterparts.

In September, we reported that new figures had revealed that almost 10million people visited Northumberland in 2015, pumping £816million into the area’s economy.

Plus, the number of industry jobs was more than 11,000.

A Government spokesman said: “Tourism has been one of the highest performing sectors in the UK economy in recent years. While we keep all taxes under review, we do not have any current plans to introduce a VAT cut for the tourism sector.”