Letters, Tuesday, December 12, 2013

Have your say

Tax plan would hurt city’s hotel industry

IT is good news that the improving UK and local economy has brought about more hotel developments in Sunderland, with the possibility of more to come.

 However, the future success of these developments will be put at risk if Labour is ever allowed to implement its latest regressive tax plans.

 In October, Labour shadow minister Sadiq Khan called for the ‘introduction of a levy on overnight accommodation’, a move echoed by a Labour select committee chairman and many Labour councillors. The last Labour Government also proposed a new hotel tax in its Lyons Inquiry report into local government finance.

 Hotels and other accommodation are already subject to VAT, corporation tax, business rates and National Insurance. Research estimates that up to 43,000 hotels, hostels and holiday lets across England – currently paying £660million a year in business rates – could be affected by the new overnight accommodation levy.

 The new hotel levy would harm the competitiveness of the UK tourist industry in a global economy; and ultimately it would be passed on to modest income families going on holiday in Britain.

 A hotel tax could typically add £126 extra to the cost of a two-week stay in a reasonably-priced hotel.

 More importantly, this return to an orgy of tax and spend by any future Labour Government would damage the hotel industry in Sunderland, just when it is becoming established.

Alan Wright,

High Barnes.

Tory supporters are part of the problem

GILLIAN Gelbrith (Echo Letters, Dec 10) was correct when she said knocking Sunderland seems to have become a local pastime and I agree when she said everyone is entitled to their opinions. I do hope, however, that her words have stirred the conscience (if that’s possible) of the local Tory activists who never write a good word about Sunderland, regardless of the circumstances.

 I’m talking about the ones who rub the city’s name in the dirt, simply for political gain – or so they think!

 The contents of their correspondence is repetitious, with a mention of the Vaux site a must.

 They normally end the letters by questioning the sanity of those who vote Labour. They seem to expect voters to take notice of people who support the policies of the most repulsive Government in memory. A Government which is causing great suffering to the people of Sunderland.

 Financial cuts are forcing the council to make some distasteful decisions. Yet the local Tories (who support these cuts) have the audacity to criticise. They don’t seem to realise they are part of the problem.

W Quinn,


A reader’s ode to Roker Park ...

I was strolling through Roker Park early one morning in the Spring. The branches of the trees are full of bees, and the birds began to sing.

 The snowdrop and the daffodils, pushing their heads up through the earth, showing everyone that spring is here and this is where I long to be, in Roker Park that takes you down onto the beach, on the shore of the great North Sea.

 In summer the flowerbeds are full of bloom, colourfully bright and gay, the leaves on the bushes and the trees are fresh and green, it takes your breath away.

 This is the place I long to be on a summer’s day, in Roker Park that takes you down onto the beach, on the shore of the great North Sea.

 In the autumn, the leaves on the bushes and trees are changing colour if you please, there are so many different shades of brown to see, in Roker Park that takes you down onto the beach, on the shore of the great North Sea.

 In the winter the park looks so bare, but nature’s natural beauty is still there, so if you find you have time to spare, take a stroll in Roker Park that takes you down onto the beach, on the shore of the great North Sea.

Wilf Matthews,