Gordon Brown forced to ditch new holiday tax

Labour’s plans to hike taxes on holiday lettings stopped – for the moment

I have always been one for the “staycation” rather that spending two weeks in the sun trying not to get burnt. Saturday I was looking at a mobile home to purchase and maybe use for letting when I wasn’t using it.
This would have been pointless if the proposed tax on tourism and furnished holiday letting had gone ahead. I am pleased to welcome the news that a determined stand by Conservatives has forced Gordon Brown to back down over a planned tax hike on local tourism.
Labour Ministers had been planning to scrap the tax relief on furnished holiday lettings. The result would have been a massive tax hike on the tourism industry and self-catering accommodation across towns such as Ramsgate and Margate. According to the Tourism Alliance, the proposed tax rises would have damaged 120,000 businesses, led to the loss of 4,500 jobs and cost the economy as a whole £200 million.
Conservatives forced the Labour Government to drop these proposals as a condition of Ministers rushing their Finance Bill through Parliament before the general election. But the Labour Party has said it will seek to re-introduce this tax rise if Gordon Brown remains in office after the general election.
The Federation of Small Businesses has warned that the Government’s proposals could leave eight in ten small businesses in the holiday sector at risk of closure. A poll of 166 FSB members that run self-catering accommodation found that more than half (52 per cent) said that they would have to make staff redundant if the tax rules were changed, and 81 per cent said changing the rules on their tax status would affect their financial viability. Another 43 per cent said the tax rules would put them off expanding their business and eight in ten said they would not be able take on any new staff (Federation of Small Businesses Press Release, 25 November 2009).

Well the nation will soon be deciding who governs the country.


I came across this piece of interesting Factual history and couldn't resist sharing it with my follower.

Starting in 1941, an increasing number of British Airmen found themselves as the involuntary guests of the Third Reich, and the Crown was casting about for ways and means to facilitate their escape... Now obviously, one of the most helpful aids to that end is a useful and accurate map, one showing not only where stuff was, but also showing the locations of 'safe houses' where a POW on-the-lam could go for food and shelter.

Paper maps had some real drawbacks -- they make a lot of noise when you open and fold them, they wear out rapidly, and if they get wet, they turn into mush.

Someone in MI5 got the idea of printing escape maps on silk. It's durable, can be scrunched-up into tiny wads, and unfolded as many times as needed, and makes no noise whatsoever.
At that time, there was only one manufacturer in Great Britain that had perfected the technology of printing on silk, and that was John Waddington, Ltd. When approached by the government, the firm was only too happy to do its bit for the war effort.
By pure coincidence, Waddington was also the U.K. Licensee for the popular American board game, Monopoly. As it happened, 'games and pastimes' was a category of item qualified for insertion into ' CARE packages', dispatched by the International Red Cross to prisoners of war.
Under the strictest of secrecy, in a securely guarded and inaccessible old workshop on the grounds of Waddington's, a group of sworn-to-secrecy employees began mass-producing escape maps, keyed to each region of Germany or Italy where Allied POW camps were regional system). When processed, these maps could be folded into such tiny dots that they would actually fit inside a Monopoly playing piece.

As long as they were at it, the clever workmen at Waddington's also managed to add: 1. A playing token, containing a small magnetic compass 2. A two-part metal file that could easily be screwed together 3. Useful amounts of genuine high-denomination German, Italian, and French currency, hidden within the piles of Monopoly money!
British and American air crews were advised, before taking off on their first mission, how to identify a 'rigged' Monopoly set -- by means of a tiny red dot, one cleverly rigged to look like an ordinary printing glitch, located in the corner of the Free Parking square.
Of the estimated 35,000 Allied POW's who successfully escaped, an estimated one-third were aided in their flight by the rigged Monopoly sets.. Everyone who did so was sworn to secrecy indefinitely, since the British Government might want to use this highly successful ruse in still another, future war. The story wasn't declassified until 2007, when the surviving craftsmen from Waddington's, as well as the firm itself, were finally honored in a public ceremony.


Hilary Lister awarded Kent Invicta award

Full council meeting today. Proud to see Hilary Lister awarded the Kent Invicta award. She is the first disabled woman to sail single handed around Britain. I was very humbled by her acceptance speech. The award comes with a cheque for £5000 which will go to the "Hilary Lister Dream charity"
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