HOBURNE Holiday Parks is lobbying MPs for a cut in VAT to five per cent on tourism businesses.

The business – which has parks at Bashley and Christchurch – has written to several MPs, including Christopher Chope for Christ-church and Desmond Swayne for New Forest West.

It claims British businesses struggle under a VAT rate twice or more than the equivalent in Spain, Germany, France and Italy.

It says the UK is one of only four EU states with no reduced rate for tourism.

Hoburne points to independent research, using the Treasury’s own economic model, which suggests lowering VAT to five per cent for accommodation and attractions would be one of the simplest ways of generating GDP gains at low cost to the Exchequer.

Research by Deloitte/Tourism Respect found such a cut would contribute £2.6bn to the Treasury over 10 years and create 80,000 jobs in two to three years.

Hoburne chairman Rosie Kennar said: “Within the EU, there are only a few goods and services that reduced VAT may be applied to, but tourism is one.

“The UK charges 20 per cent VAT for visitor accommodation, compared with seven per cent in Germany and France, nine in Ireland, and 10 in Spain and Italy.

“The UK rate makes it tougher for already hard-pressed British families to take a break here and for tourism businesses to compete with their European rivals.”