Speaking in support of the motion – aimed at pursuing a reduced VAT rate for tourism-related services in Northern Ireland – the MLA for Lagan Valley 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.
Trevor Lunn MLA said: “Across Europe there appears to be evidence that a VAT reduction for the tourism industry has produced a beneficial result and in supporting the motion I advocated more research to back up that impression.
“As it stands the Alliance Party has been informed that the Treasury has no plans to reduce the VAT rate in the UK.
“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 manoeuvre.
“In supporting the motion 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.”