Saturday, 23 July 2011

Senior Indie councillor fails the fact check test

The row over the tourist tax rumbles on. I saw yesterday that the Guardian felt the need to add into a story about the possible St Pirans Day bank holiday a reference to the tourist tax debate and there is a letter in today's Local Government First magazine from Indie councillor John Keeling about the issue.

I support what John has said about the tourist tax being a red herring when we should be concentrating on a change to the way councils are funded and keeping business rates. But it doesn't help when an experienced councillor such as him can't get his facts right.

In his letter, John says:

"We already tax people leaving Cornwall by air through a £5 airport tax and there is a £2 toll when entering the county by car..."

Well yes, there is a £5 airport development fee for passengers flying from Newquay airport.

But how John gets the idea there is a £2 toll for coming in by car I don't know. The toll on the Tamar Bridge and Torpoint ferries is £1.50 to leave Cornwall (and half that with a tag) but there is no charge for coming in and it costs nothing at all for visitors using the busiest road route - the A30.

I suspect that all John's letter will do is to dissuade readers from coming to visit Cornwall.

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