Victoria Ayling UKIP Tourism Spokesman, slammed Local Authorities lobbying the Government for a change in legislation allowing them to impose a Hotel Bed Tax. Currently Bath and North East Somerset Council are in discussions with the Government about these proposals and others are believed to be putting a case for powers to impose such a tax.
"A Hotel Bed Tax will have a huge detrimental effect on our tourist industry. Local economies and jobs dependent on visitors will suffer as a result. Currently, with the weak pound, Tourism is flourishing but this will not last forever. Additional costs such as these Bed Tax proposals will then become a deciding factor as to whether visitors, particularly from overseas, come to an area or not.
"Already the Government has imposed new taxes on the self employed, many of whom are in the tourism and hospitality sector. There are also planned taxes on diesel vehicles which are used by many small businesses in the tourist industry. The new methods of calculating business rates are already going to add huge amounts of costs to B&B owners who are penalised under the system with higher rates for improved facilities.
"A Hotel Bed Tax will result in reduced visitor numbers and this will have a devastating effect. I would urge the Government not to allow a change in legislation allowing Local Councils to plunder more cash from struggling businesses."