Local concerns voiced over Tourism Tax | Pryder lleol dros Dreth Twristiaeth

Local politicians are voicing their concern over the impact that a Welsh Government proposed Tourism Tax could have on the area.

Welsh Government’s Finance Minister, Mark Drakeford, recently announced that he is consulting on four tax ideas, one of which could be implemented in Wales as early as next year.

Along with a proposed tax on vacant land, a levy to pay for extra social care, and a tax on disposable plastics, Labour’s Welsh Government have also proposed a Tourism Tax.

Bridgend Conservative Councillors worked with the Independent group at the last meeting which called on Bridgend County Borough Council to “strongly oppose the idea of a tax on tourism” and for the Council to “make representation to Welsh Government” about this.

The motion was however opposed by the Bridgend Labour group at the meeting on 1st November, and they replaced it with their own version.

Labour councillors instead chose to back a motion for the Council to be “consulted fully on the proposals for a tax on tourism in order that it can have a better understanding on the implications it could have.”

Suzy Davies, Welsh Conservative Assembly Member for South Wales West and Chair of the Assembly’s Cross Party Group on Tourism reacted after the meeting by saying:

“Welsh Conservatives in the Assembly have already called on Welsh Government to rule out a Tourism Tax. Labour refused to back that motion and it is disappointing that locally the same appears to have happened with BCBC”

Mrs Davies added “As Chair of the Cross Party Group on Tourism I have had a lot of businesses from across Wales raising concerns with me about the Welsh Government’s proposals.

“Some have already stopped investing and are waiting to see what the outcome of this is.

“We know that some UK cities have considered a bed tax like this and have ruled it out, not least because, unlike other countries, we have 20% VAT here. Also, most of our visitors are day visitors so why would overnight accommodation be saddled with a tax which is a burden and a further deterrent to persuading visitors to stay longer.

“There is no doubt that Porthcawl benefits directly from tourism and visitors to the area throughout the year, however many of the businesses that are part of the supply chain for Porthcawl’s tourism industry will be based in Bridgend and further afield, not forgetting of course all the jobs that local residents benefit from as well.”

Cllr Tom Giffard, the Welsh Conservative Group Leader on Bridgend Council said:

“It was very disappointing that the Bridgend Labour Group refused to support residents and local businesses and instead chose to replace the motion.

“What is even more concerning however is that they seem to be suggestion that Welsh Government have failed to properly consult with them about their proposed Tourism Tax.

“Once they have I hope that they will realise the importance of tourism to the area and will agree that the Tourism tax should be scrapped.”

Cllr Norah Clarke, Leader of the Independent Alliance Group, said: “A proposed tax on tourist accommodation could work against this Council’s own tourism destination investment strategy.

“The strategy is targeted at increasing the volume and length of visitor stays across the County Borough, however a tax like this would appear to be flying directly against that.”

Cllr Clarke, who represents Nottage ward, added “A tax on tourism would have a big negative effect on Porthcawl.

“This appears to be a tax that is almost exclusively aimed at small businesses and, as we know, Porthcawl is made up of some fantastic small businesses.

“What is concerning is Welsh Government are giving the impression that they have already carried out some form of consultation to get to this list of four tax options, however I can not find out how or when this happened and none of the businesses I have spoken to were consulted either.”

 

Mae gwleidyddion lleol yn mynegi eu pryder ynghylch yr effaith y gallai Treth Twristiaeth arfaethedig Llywodraeth Cymru ei chael ar yr ardal.

Yn ddiweddar, cyhoeddodd Ysgrifennydd Cyllid dros Lywodraeth Cymru, Mark Drakeford, ei fod yn ymgynghori ar bedair syniad treth, y gellid gweithredu un ohonynt yng Nghymru mor gynnar â'r flwyddyn nesaf.

Ynghyd â threth arfaethedig ar dir gwag, ardoll i dalu am ofal cymdeithasol ychwanegol, a threth ar blastigion tafladwy, mae Llywodraeth Cymru Lafur wedi cynnig Treth Twristiaeth hefyd.

Bu Cynghorwyr Ceidwadol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr yn gweithio gyda'r grŵp Annibynnol yn y cyfarfod diwethaf a alwodd ar Gyngor Bwrdeistref Sirol Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr i "wrthwynebu'r syniad o dreth ar dwristiaeth" yn gryf ac i'r Cyngor "wneud sylwadau i Lywodraeth Cymru" ynglŷn â hyn.

Fodd bynnag, gwrthwynebwyd y cynnig gan y grŵp Llafur Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr yn y cyfarfod ar 1 Tachwedd, ac fe'u disodlwyd â'i fersiwn eu hunain.

Yn lle hynny, dewisodd cynghorwyr Llafur geisio cynnig i'r Cyngor "ymgynghori'n llawn ar y cynigion ar gyfer treth ar dwristiaeth er mwyn iddi gael gwell dealltwriaeth o'r goblygiadau y gallai fod ganddyn nhw."

Ymatebodd Suzy Davies, Aelod Cynulliad Ceidwadol Cymru Gorllewin De Cymru a Chadeirydd Grŵp Trawsbleidiol y Cynulliad ar Dwristiaeth ar ôl y cyfarfod trwy ddweud:

"Mae Ceidwadwyr Cymru yn y Cynulliad eisoes wedi galw ar Lywodraeth Cymru i ddileu Treth Twristiaeth. Gwrthododd Llafur gefnogi'r cynnig hwnnw ac mae'n siomedig bod yr un peth yn ôl yr un peth â BCBC"

Ychwanegodd Mrs Davies "Fel Cadeirydd y Grŵp Trawsbleidiol ar Dwristiaeth, rwyf wedi cael llawer o fusnesau o bob cwr o Gymru yn codi pryderon imi ynghylch cynigion Llywodraeth Cymru.

"Mae rhai eisoes wedi rhoi'r gorau i fuddsoddi ac maent yn aros i weld beth yw canlyniad hyn.

"Rydyn ni'n gwybod bod rhai dinasoedd yn y DU wedi ystyried treth gwely fel hyn ac wedi ei ddatrys, yn enwedig oherwydd, yn wahanol i wledydd eraill, mae gennym 20% o TAW yma. Hefyd, mae'r rhan fwyaf o'n hymwelwyr yn ymwelwyr dydd felly pam y byddai'r llety dros nos yn cael ei drethu â threth sy'n faich a rhwystr pellach i berswadio ymwelwyr i aros yn hirach.

"Does dim amheuaeth bod Porthcawl yn elwa'n uniongyrchol o dwristiaeth ac ymwelwyr i'r ardal trwy gydol y flwyddyn, ond bydd llawer o'r busnesau sy'n rhan o'r gadwyn gyflenwi ar gyfer diwydiant twristiaeth Porthcawl yn cael eu lleoli ym Mhen-y-bont ar Ogwr ac ymhellach i ffwrdd, heb anghofio wrth gwrs y swyddi y mae trigolion lleol yn elwa arnynt hefyd."

Meddai'r Cyng. Tom Giffard, Arweinydd Grŵp Ceidwadol Cymru ar Gyngor Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr:

"Roedd yn siomedig iawn bod Gwrthod Llafur Pen-y-bont ar Ogwr yn gwrthod cefnogi trigolion a busnesau lleol ac yn hytrach dewisodd ailosod y cynnig.

"Yr hyn sydd hyd yn oed yn fwy perthnasol, fodd bynnag, yw eu bod yn awgrymu bod Llywodraeth Cymru wedi methu â chysylltu'n briodol â hwy ynghylch eu Twristiaeth arfaethedig.