We have discussed the issue of a hotel tax at great length during the Bill’s passage, but may I first say that I completely support and appreciate the comments on the importance of the tourism sector made by Alison McGovern at the beginning of her speech? It has perhaps not been recognised as so important partly because of the fragmented nature of the industry, but I assure her that I consider the tourism sector to be of great importance and will be doing everything I can to support it.
The Government have always been clear that the Bill is not an appropriate vehicle for a proposal such as the hotel tax. It is not a money Bill; that would be for Her Majesty’s Treasury to bring forward. My colleagues in the Treasury have been crystal clear that any case put forward for a hotel tax would need to be fully costed, including balancing the additional burdens on businesses. In any event, were such a tax to be introduced solely for the duration of the games, it is estimated that it would raise for Birmingham City Council about £4.5 million to £5 million for the whole year. That would be only a small part of the financial contributions owed by the council and its partners to the games. Liam Byrne mentioned the £184 million contribution from Birmingham City Council, and of course central Government will contribute nearly £600 million directly.