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Thursday, December 15, 2022

Shadow Minister hits out at "unfair" rules affecting tourism industry

* Sam Rowlands, left, on a visit to Llangollen Railway.

Sam Rowlands, Member of the Welsh Parliament for North Wales,  has hit out at "unfair" rules which affect the tourism industry in his region.

Opening the Welsh Conservative debate: Business rates for self-catering accommodation, Mr Rowlands, Shadow Minister for Local Government, said the debate was about the confusion and unfairness of the implementation of the 182-day Order. 

He said: “From April 1 2023, evidence must be provided that a property has been made available to let for at least 252 days, and actually let for at least 182 days.  

"However, the Valuation Office Agency's assessment will be based on records for the 12 months prior to this date, meaning self-catering businesses will be and have been assessed on the new regulations coming into force in 2023, dating back to 2022.


“It is extremely unfair and unreasonable to assess and judge self-catering accommodation on the old rules when the new rules come into place next April. This could lead to detrimental impacts on the tourism sector and is causing confusion in the sector, a sector which is so important to our economy and to our local communities.


“The Government state they've consulted widely. However, I find it difficult to fully accept, as the self-catering accommodation sector and leading figures in the tourism sector, in my capacity as chairman of the Senedd cross-party group on tourism, have outlined their sheer confusion, anger and frustration regarding the implementation of this Order.


“I believe that Welsh Government should reflect on the serious concerns expressed by self-catering accommodation providers across Wales regarding the assessment period for determining this eligibility.”


“We know, the prime reason for these regulations being brought in was to differentiate between second homes and legitimate self-catering holiday accommodation However, with the criteria being assessed this year, before those rules are in place, before those regulations actually come into force, we will see a skewed set of results, as self-catering accommodation have not been given the proper time to plan, adjust their business plans and ensure their businesses are geared up for this change. So, it will not achieve what the Government are seeking to achieve.”


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