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Anti-holiday let rules are like a Stalinist regime - claim

A tourism chief has likened new anti-holiday let regulations to those of a Stalinist dictatorship.

Ashford Price, secretary of the Welsh Association of Visitor Attractions, believes around 1,400 businesses are now at risk as a result of the Welsh Government’s new policies over council tax and holiday homes.

Currently, properties available to let for a minimum of 140 days in any 12-month period, and actually let for at least 70 days, pay business rates rather than council tax. But from April 2023, properties must be available to let for at least 252 days and actually let for at least 182 days in any 12-month period to qualify. 


If an owner cannot meet these thresholds, then they will be required to revert to paying council tax.

However, holiday let owners argue that the 182-day rule is unfair and unrealistic for most owners due to seasonality - many areas get few if any bookings in the autumn and winter periods

The Welsh Government is also giving local authorities power to increase council tax to 300 per cent on properties that fail to reach what councils regard as minimum occupancy.

Price tells local media in Wales: "From April 2023 the Welsh Governments 'utopian’ future for those still left in self-catering in Wales will be like working under rules reminiscent of a 'Stalinist Regime' where you are told the number of days your business ‘must’ be open for (252 days.), the number of letting days your business ‘must’ reach (182 days) - which is an unobtainable figure for the majority of operators in Wales, and finally the ‘punishment’ if your business fails to meet any of these new government demands is an increase of up to 300 per cent in your rates bill.

"A leading tourism expert anticipates that around 1,400 business will be forced to close owing to these new rules, and many thousands of Welsh people will be made redundant. Rural areas will also be the poorer as when genuine self-catering operators cease to operate there will be fewer tourists spending money in their area during the tourist season. This ‘summer tourist money’ helps the local shops, garages, and pubs survive the long quiet winters in many rural locations.

"A high number of these lovely self-catering properties will be put up for sale. However, these properties will not be available for most locals to buy as the asking price will be beyond their reach.

"Hence, those in government who are claiming that these new draconian measures being imposed on genuine Welsh self-catering operators will lead to an increase in housing stock for local people are misleading the people of Wales. In many cases what will happen is that these properties will be bought by wealthy English ‘incomers’ who will not mind paying 300% extra on rates for an exquisite piece of Welsh real estate that their families can then use as a ‘holiday home’.

"This is just one example of the unintended consequences that the Welsh Government do not seem to comprehend within their anti-tourism agenda."

Price continues: "Winter opening for many in Wales, especially in rural areas, is simply not a viable option as the demand is not there in the first place and anyway everything locally closes down. Currently we also have a cost of living crisis in Britain which we are told will get worse this winter. 

“This means that many people will not be able to afford a summer holiday in 2023 let alone a winter one.

"To say that the future looks bleak for many genuine Welsh self-catering operators is an understatement, as there will be no future for many of the 4,700 people currently employed within the Welsh self-catering sector from April 2023."

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    Totally true. They just try to win votes. They do irresponsible things with no fear of consequences. They get moved around one department to another. Even Boris doesn’t get sacked after breaking his own rules!

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    So they are going to wreck their tourism trade, what else is there in Wales except the DVLA and they even manage to make a total hash of that

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    Looks like Welsh Labour supporters think everyone else also has 182 days off every year?

    The 182 day requirement might work in the Med or Canary Islands but not in the Valleys where coal was a much more reliable source of heat than the Sun will ever be.

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    Drakeford the Labour leader, is described as a corbynite. Ie a communist. He is out to destroy Wales by any method possible. Angling Tourism is very badly hit because game fisheries are depleted by pollution and Foreign trawlers stealing the fish.

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    Plenty of people think this won’t kill the market, and maybe it won’t, except do you really think it will stop there?

    This is the future all governments are gunning for at the moment, step by step, but consistently moving towards communism. Gradually making it too expensive to own or maintain properties unless you’re the government (and obviously exempt).

    A population with no assets, no aspirations or expectations, living off the scraps the government decides you can have (a bit less each year). They enjoyed the extra power they seized during the ahem pandemic, and don’t Want to let it go.

    They get together regularly to ensure they all bring in the same measures to avoid the more able and intelligent citizens moving to a country that isn’t doing this. Yesterdays conspiracy theory is todays fact. Part of the agenda is getting you to believe untruths that are so obvious they should be ridiculous and yet, if you come out and say not true you get fired/prosecuted or put on workplace training courses until you stop saying what you see. 1984 is coming true so accurately it’s chilling. Erosion of property rights is just part of the overall agenda.

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    Steve Austin, very true, Wales is used as an incubator. The Welsh media pronounce Drakeford as Dray Fud. Doesn't sound English. He has designated Wales as a refugee sanctuary and the results are showing up very quickly, obviously resulting in shortage of homes and a big drag on the infrastructure.


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