Proposed hotel tax could make Chiswick a costly destination

Head of Sales at Moran Hotel brands new levy as "unfair"


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Chiswick Moran Hotel

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Just as Chiswick emerges from its b&b wilderness and sees the opening of two new hotels, former Labour councillor, Sir Michael Lyons, has raised the prospect of a new local levy on local hotels, B&Bs and hostels.

The new 'bed tax', which could add an additional five to ten percent to the cost of a room per night, was proposed after Chancellor Gordon Brown and John Prescott asked Sir Michael Lyons to produce plans for new local taxes.

The tax, which would be on top of existing business rates and VAT on hotel bills, could add over £100 a week to the cost of a family visit. 

Local Conservative MEP Mr Kamall said "The government must think again about this new tax. It will hit our hoteliers, and it will hit families who should not have to pay through the nose for a weekend visit to the capital."

Robert Russell, Head of Sales at Chiswick Moran Hotel, said "We would be very unhappy for this new tax to come into play for a number of reasons.  The UK is already expensive enough to visit and the extra 5% or 10% tax per room per night will not be easy to sell to international operators specially Americans.  Hotel bring business into the local area's restaurants, shops, even taxi businesses so to impose further taxes would be unfair to everyone."

The Government is currently conducting a review into local government finance in which will report by the end of 2006. An interim report in December 2005 suggested that a hotel tax might be introduced. It noted, "the most frequent proposal was for a local tax on hotel and similar accommodation... I am interested in exploring this issue further"

The Government Minister for Tourism, Shaun Woodward, has refused to rule out the
new tax, and was quoted in Caterer News as stating "we have to balance the books".

August 9, 2006