Will the Minister confirm that in their discussions with the Chancellor of the Exchequer, he and the Welsh Secretary have firmly taken this matter into account and that, should there be a continuation of this Administration, they are committed to removing this VAT, which is basically a tax on the south Wales economy?
We in the Wales Office are very mindful of the concerns of businesses in south Wales, in particular, about the levels of tolls. No decisions have yet been made on what the tolling regime will look like at the end of the concession period after 2018, but we are hearing representations from Welsh business. As the Under-Secretary of State for Transport, my hon. Friend Mr Goodwill, confirmed in a recent Westminster Hall debate, at the end of the concession period, VAT is no longer to be levied on the tolls.
We have discussed VAT and tourism on several occasions at Wales questions. The fact remains that if we were to lower VAT on tourism and hospitality in the way that I think the hon. Gentleman is suggesting, somebody else has to pay the shortfall. Taxation will need to be levied elsewhere at a time when we have to bring in some revenue to make further progress on reducing the deficit.