19 August 2006
New bed and breakfast stealth tax will hike cost of UK trips.

With the summer holiday season in full swing, Harriett Baldwin, Conservative Parliamentary Candidate for West Worcestershire, added her name to a new Conservative campaign to stop Gordon Brown's and John Prescott's latest money-making ruse - a new stealth tax on British holidays.

Mr Brown and Mr Prescott have asked former Labour councillor, Sir Michael Lyons, to produce plans for new local taxes. In December's interim report, he raised the prospect of a new local levy on local hotels, B&Bs and hostels. There are 30 of these in Malvern Hills and 13 in Wychavon District Council areas and tourism is a vital part of the local economy.

This would be on top of existing business rates and VAT on hotel bills. Based on similar taxes in other countries, this could potentially add £100 a week to the cost of a family holiday or visit to Britain's tourist destinations. Less well-off families would be the hardest hit.

Harriett Baldwin said:
"The brilliant summer weather has shown what a great place Worcestershire is to spend a short break or a holiday. But the great British holiday is under threat from a bed & breakfast stealth tax - Gordon Brown's latest money-making ploy.

"There's nothing wrong with choosing to travel abroad, but no-one will benefit from making British holidays a rip-off. Gordon Brown and John Prescott have already hiked up council tax bills across Worcestershire. The Lib Dems have also voted for a new hotel tax. Now I fear they want to hike the price of a British break. I am adding my name to the campaign to ask the Government to think again."