§ 24. Mr. Russell Johnston
asked the Secretary of State for Scotland what proposals he has to assist the tourist industry in Scotland to make a larger contribution towards a favourable balance of payments.
§ Mr. Johnston
Will not the Secretary of State admit that both his Government and the last have treated the tourist industry most unfavourably compared with the treatment that this industry receives in other countries? If he will not consider the question of investment allowances, will he at least consider relieving the industry of some of the penalty of the Selective Employment Tax?
§ Mr. Ross
I shall be considering, in connection with the Tourist Board Report and probably with the Tourist Board itself, what need there is to help the Scottish tourist industry. But hon. Members fail to appreciate the resilience of the Scottish tourist industry and what it has been able to do. I do not agree with the depressing pronouncements that we have had from hon. Members opposite about the future of tourism in Scotland.
§ Mr. Woodburn
Has my right hon. Friend received any representations from the tourist industry to the effect that it would sooner pay this extra tax in the form of Income Tax and Surtax?
§ Mr. Ross
The point is that the tourist industry in Scotland, as elsewhere in Britain, depends for its prosperity upon the prosperity of Britain. The achievement and maintenance of economic strength is part of the benefit that it will derive from the measures taken by my right hon. Friend the Chancellor.