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GORDON HENDERSON MP

FOR SITTINGBOURNE & SHEPPEY

Another nail in Sheppey's tourism coffin

Sheppey’s hard pressed tourism industry has been dealt another blow by the Government. The Chancellor, Alastair Darling, has decreed that from next year the rules on Furnished Holiday Lettings will be repealed leaving holiday park operators facing loss of critical tax relief they are granted currently.

The current rules allow holiday accommodation to be treated as a commercial business for tax purposes. This means that owners are able to claim loss relief, capital allowances and certain capital gains reliefs. The Government claims that the rules are being repealed to comply with European Union regulations.

The changes have been condemned by local Conservative Parliamentary Candidate, Gordon Henderson, who says that this could be yet another nail in the coffin of Sheppey’s tourism.

Mr Henderson said:

‘Sheppey’s tourism industry has taken some hard knocks in recent years. It is surviving, but only just. This move by the Government is another nail in the Island’s tourism coffin.

‘Holiday lets are critical to the Island’s economy and the more financial burdens we place on operators, the less incentive there is to invest in the future. In the east end of Sheppey we have lots of holiday properties that need to be upgraded so that we can attract a new generation of holiday maker to the area.

‘Operators are not looking for special favours, they don’t want handouts, but equally, they don’t want to be penalised by the Government. Sheppey’s holiday industry needs help, not another kick in the teeth.

‘The Government claims it is repealing the FHL rules to comply with EU regulations. If that is true, then it is simply more evidence that Britain would be better off out of the EU.’

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