WQ86164 (e) Tabled on 28/09/2022

Will the Minister clarify whether local authorities would be allowed to use income generated through a tourism tax to fund free school meals?

Answered by Minister for Finance and Local Government | Answered on 05/10/2022

Revenues raised from a discretionary visitor levy are intended to be re-invested locally to support the local visitor economy and invest in the services and infrastructure which make tourism a success. A levy could also provide new opportunities for funding of local projects and initiatives at a local level which could also have benefits for the community. Spending priorities will vary by area, and we want to empower local authorities to make their own decisions according to the needs of their communities.

Through our extensive discussions with representatives from the tourism industry, local authorities, and other organisations, the benefits and challenges associated with hypothecation (ring-fencing) has been consistently raised. It is clear there is a need for transparency and engagement in how revenues would be allocated, and questions exploring these themes are included within the consultation.

The visitor levy consultation launched on the 20 September and can be found via Discretionary visitor levy for local authorities | GOV.WALES. We welcome responses from all those with an interest in what would work best for Wales. Final decisions on the design and scope of a levy will be taken following the consultation and considering all available evidence.

This work has been carried out in collaboration with Cefin Campbell, the Plaid Cymru designated lead member, as part of the Co-operation Agreement between the Welsh Government and Plaid Cymru.