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Hotel Tax

Volume 447: debated on Monday 12 June 2006

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government what recent representations she has received from the tourist industry in (a) Southend-on-Sea, (b) Essex and (c) England about a possible tax on hotel rooms; and if she will make a statement. (75654)

I have received 16 representations from, or on behalf of, the tourist industry about the possibility of a tourist tax in England. Of these, one originated in Essex, but none from Southend-on-Sea.

To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government if her Department will undertake a review, drawing on international research and experience, of the effect of a hotel, tourist or bed tax; and if she will make a statement. (75655)

My Department does not have any plans to undertake such a review. Sir Michael Lyons is carrying out an independent inquiry to make recommendations for the reform of council tax, and to analyse the options for shifting the balance of funding, including the potential for other possible local taxes and charges. He will submit his final report and recommendations at the end of 2006. The Government will not take any decisions on changes to local government finance until they have had the chance to consider and reflect on Sir Michael’s report.