Local Commonwealth Games levy

Part of Birmingham Commonwealth Games Bill [Lords] – in the House of Commons at 1:45 pm on 11th June 2020.

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Photo of Nigel Huddleston Nigel Huddleston Assistant Whip, The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport 1:45 pm, 11th June 2020

I will come on to the financial contributions in a moment.

The new clause would or could inadvertently discourage people from staying overnight in Birmingham and the west midlands at games time—the very time we want to welcome the world to the west midlands and when the region is doing whatever it can to increase visitors and the opportunities generated by the games. On top of that, even though we do not charge a tourism tax in the UK, we charge full VAT on hotel stays, which many other countries do not. Many other countries do not charge full VAT rates on hospitality and leisure.

Furthermore, local authorities have a range of existing revenue-raising and fundraising powers that they could explore to support them to meet financial contributions that are associated with events such as the Commonwealth games. Most important, the council has always been clear that it can and will deliver its financial commitments to the games without the need for a hotel tax. As ever, we remain in close contact with the council on all aspects of the games, including the budget. It is also worth noting that early analysis of the financial impact of covid-19 has demonstrated that the additional costs arising from the pandemic can be met from the existing games budget.