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Plans to scrap tax relief on Holiday Homes postponed until after Election

The Government is to postpone plans to scrap tax relief on holiday homes until after next month’s General Election

ABTA has welcomed the decision, and said it will continue to lobby the next government to keep the tax relief system, set out under the Furnished Holiday Lettings rule, as it is.

It claims a planned repeal of the FHL, announced in the April 2009 Budget, would have had ‘serious harmful consequences for the domestic tourism sector leading to a loss of over £200m and 4,500 jobs’.

The FHL repeal was part of the Finance Bill, which the Government had wanted to fast-track through Parliament ahead of the General Election on 6 May.

However, the Conservatives refused to allow the legislation to be fast-tracked unless the FHL rule and two others, including the controversial cider tax, were omitted from the Bill.

The Government was forced to agree last night, in order to get the Bill passed before the Election.

A review of the repeal was one the key demands in the recently launched ABTA Travel Manifesto.

ABTA, the Tourism Alliance and ABTA member the Holiday Cottages Group had all lobbied on the issue.

Mark Tanzer, chief executive of ABTA, said: ‘The repeal of the FHL rules would have had an extremely damaging impact on domestic tourism and many of our members’ businesses and we welcome the Government’s sensible decision to set aside the proposed repeal for the time being.

‘We will call on the new government in office after 6 May to listen to industry concerns and reform FHLs in a way that both achieves Government objectives as well as supporting domestic tourism.’

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