Alliance raise VAT issue at Westminster

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Thursday, September 13th, 2012
Alliance Newcastle Councillor Patrick Clarke has questioned why the DUP’s motion aimed at reducing the VAT rate for the Hospitality Sector was brought to the Assembly, when the issue has already been raised by Naomi Long MP at Westminster. The recent motion debated at the Assembly on Monday 10th September aimed at pursuing a reduced VAT rate for tourism-related services in Northern Ireland – the Newcastle Councillor said that this is not a devolved matter and that recent correspondence between Naomi Long MP and the Treasury would indicate they have no intention of reducing VAT rates across the UK, which is the only way this could be achieved locally according to Clarke. Speaking to Newry Times, Clarke stated, “Only a number of months ago I raised this matter on behalf of constituents with our deputy leader and MP Naomi Long regarding the disparity between the South of Ireland and the North’s VAT rate for the hospitality sector and how the North was at a serious disadvantage.” “As it stands the Alliance Party has been informed that the Treasury has no plans to reduce the VAT rate in the UK. He added, “Writing to Naomi Long MP, the Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury David Gauke MP said there is ‘no compelling case for VAT relief for the tourism industry instead of other sectors’, which seems to rule out any room for maneuver. “The Alliance Party would like to see the Assembly produce a persuasive case with the aim of achieving a reduction in the VAT rate for the hospitality sector.”
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