Yesterday I was invited to see the new Holiday Inn hotel at Winnersh. It is an impressive addition to our local hotels, offering 174 bedrooms, restaurant and spa facilities. I was shown around and invited to discuss the impact of government on the hospitality industry.
In common with others, the representatives of the hotel told me that 20% VAT is a high tax to have to pay. Many in the hospitality industry favour a cut in VAT on their businesses to act as a stimulus to demand. They told me of the high costs of the carbon levy, despite the work they did on the design to minimise energy use. High energy bills, and high business rates also drive up costs.
I will explore with Michael Fallon, Business Minister, and Hugh Robertson, the Minister for tourism and lesiure matters, how the government can help to limit the costs of this important business sector. Several of the issues are common to other sectors as well, and will be familiar to readers of this general blog.