HC Deb 07 March 1994 vol 239 cc9-10
12. Mr. Waterson

To ask the Secretary of State for National Heritage what representations he has received regarding a tourism tax; and if he will make a statement.

Mr. Sproat

I have received representations on this subject, expressing a number of different viewpoints, from hon. Members, from local authorities and from tourism trade organisations and individual operators.

Mr. Waterson

I am grateful to my hon. Friend for that answer. Does he agree, however, that a tourism tax would be unfair, unworkable and damaging to tourism? All those factors would no doubt qualify it for inclusion in the election manifestos of the Opposition parties.

Mr. Sproat


Mr. Tony Banks

Before rejecting the whole concept of the tourism tax, will the Minister look at examples abroad and see how they work? It seems that, as a marginal tax, the tourism tax will hardly act as a disincentive to tourists.

Mr. Sproat

No, I do not agree. We are already finding some difficulty in retaining the competitive edge of British tourism; I do not wish to add anything more to dull that competitive edge, and a tax might well do that.