Tourism and Party Manifestos

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The Liberal Democrat and Labour Parties have published a manifesto this week containing a number of either tourism specific or tourism and visitor economy related issues.  The Conservative manifesto follows this weekend. Kurt Janson at the Tourism Alliance has kindly trawled through both and produced an initial summary, so you and I don’t have to.  There may be other issues that have not been highlighted and of course many of the other manifesto promises made will or could impact on tourism’s fortunes in the UK indirectly.

Kurt’s original message reads:

Here’s a link to the Labour manifesto that has just been launched:

https://labour.org.uk/wp-content/uploads/2019/11/Real-Change-Labour-Manifesto-2019.pdf

Key Tourism-related policies include:

  • A new £1 billion Cultural Capital Fund for libraries, museums and galleries.
  • Maintaining free entry to museums
  • Launching a Town of Culture competition in addition to the City of Culture
  • Banning zero-hour contracts and requiring cancelled shifts to be paid
  • Introducing four new bank holidays for the four patron saints (presumably this is only one new Bank holiday per country)
  • The immigration policy is vague – simply saying that they recognise the social and economic benefits that free movement has brought both in terms of EU citizens here and UK citizens abroad – and we will seek to protect those rights
  • Helping small businesses benefit from the Apprenticeship Levy by increasing the amount that can be transferred to non-levy-paying employers to 50% and introducing an online matching service
  • Review options for a land value tax on commercial landlords as an alternative to Business Rates.
  • Ending new sales of combustion engine cars by 2030
  • Increased aviation capacity, while not ruled out, would have to pass their tests on air quality, noise pollution, climate change obligations and countrywide benefits.
  • Creating new National Parks alongside a revised system of other protected area designations
  • Review border controls to make them more effective.
  • Review Business Rates including the option of a land value tax on commercial landlords as an alternative.
  • Listing pubs as Assets of Community Value so community groups have the first chance to buy local pubs when they are under threat.
  • Introducing a new national levy on second homes used as holiday homes
  • We will give councils new powers to regulate short-term lets through companies such as Airbnb
  • Reform taxi and private hire regulation
  • Free broadband access for all.

This is the link to Liberal Democrat manifesto:

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/libdems/pages/57307/attachments/original/1574267252/Stop_Brexit_and_Build_a_Brighter_Future.pdf?1574267252

The key tourism-related policies include:

  • Support the tourist industry which is vital for many local economies by:

– Upgrading the status of tourism within government, by creating a Department of Digital, Culture, Media, Sport and Tourism, with a designated Minister of State for Tourism.

– Enabling local authorities to bring in tourist levies to fund local tourism infrastructure.

  • A programme of installing hyper-fast, fibre-optic broadband across the UK – with a particular focus on connecting rural areas, ensuring all businesses have access to superfast broadband (30Mbps download and 6Mbps upload)
  • Develop the skilled workforce needed to support this growth by introducing a new two-year visa for students to work after graduation and a major expansion of high-quality apprenticeships including Higher Apprenticeships, backed up by new sector-led National Colleges.
  • Develop a national skills strategy for key sectors
  • Create creative enterprise zones to grow and regenerate the cultural output of areas across the UK.
  • Prioritise small and medium-sized businesses in the rollout of hyper-fast broadband
  • Create a new ‘start-up allowance’ to help those starting a new business with their living costs in the crucial first weeks of their business
  • Finance the transformation of town centres by expanding the Future High Streets Fund.
  • Replace Business Rates in England with a Commercial Landowner Levy based solely on the land value of commercial sites rather than their entire capital value
  • Setting a 20 per cent higher minimum wage for people on zero-hour contracts at times of normal demand to compensate them for the uncertainty of fluctuating hours of work
  • Giving a right to request a fixed-hours contract after 12 months for ‘zero hours’ and agency workers
  • Expand the apprenticeship levy into a wider ‘Skills and Training Levy’ to help prepare the UK’s workforce for the economic challenges ahead with 25 per cent of the funds raised by the levy going into a ‘Social Mobility Fund’ targeted at areas with the greatest skill needs.
  • Maintain free access to national museums and galleries
  • Completing the coastal path, exploring a ‘right to roam’ for waterways and creating a new designation of National Nature Parks.
  • Providing £2bn to ensure that all private hire vehicles and new buses licensed to operate in urban areas (I presume coaches too) are ultra-low-emission or zero-emission vehicles by 2025
  • Reduce the climate impact of flying by reforming the taxation of international flights to focus on those who fly the most, while reducing costs for those who take one or two international return fights per year, placing a moratorium on the development of new runways (net) in the UK, opposing any expansion of Heathrow, Gatwick or Stansted and any new airport in the Thames Estuary, and introducing a zero-carbon fuels blending requirement for domestic fights
  • Allocate £4.5 billion restoring bus routes and add new routes where there is local need including supporting rural bus services and encouraging alternatives to conventional bus services where they are not viable
  • Allow local authorities to increase council tax by up to 500 per cent where homes are being bought as second homes
  • Launch a National Fund for Coastal Change, to enable local authorities to properly manage their changing coastlines.
  • Set up a £2 billion Rural Services Fund to enable the co-location of services in local hubs around existing local infrastructure.
  • Replace Tier 2 work visas with a more flexible merit-based system

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