Wales: Mark Drakeford 'banned' from caves says Jenkins
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Wales’ First Minister Mark Drakeford, and his cabinet team have been banned from the popular National Showcaves Centre at Dan Yr Ogof in the Brecon Beacons National Park. The popular attraction’s chairman, Ashford Price decided to bar Mr Dakeford in response to the Welsh Labour leader’s proposed law requiring council tax to be levied on homes left unused or rented out for 182 days a year.
Reacting to the story, Welsh statistician Jamie Jenkins told TalkTV: “He has been banned from some of the caves, lovely caves that we have in Wales.
‘He has been banned by the owner there because of his anti-tourism tax that he is bringing in across the country which at the time of the cost of living crisis we don’t need a tourism tax in Wales.
He added: “In terms of some of the policies that Mark Drakeford has been coming out within the last couple of years rather than banning him from the caves maybe they should send home to a cave and leave him there.”
Mr Price has argued that the Wesh government’s policies would “decimate” the Welsh tourism industry.
Chairman of the National Showcaves Centre for Wales has a sign at the Dan Yr Ogof ticket office which reads: “Owing to the Welsh Government’s anti-tourism, and anti-English policies being imposed on the Welsh tourism industry, members of the Welsh Government are no longer welcome at this attraction.
“Their policies will lead to tourism businesses being forced to close and thousands of tourism jobs lost.”
Mr Price said: “The attraction believes that demanding businesses let their properties out for 182 days a year is akin to a ‘Soviet-type purge being imposed by the Welsh Government’, which also comes in for criticism over some of the other policies it is bringing in.”
In addition to the 182-day rule, another tax is being muted which would hit tourists entering, leaving and staying in Wales.
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Mr Prince said: “The present Welsh Government with their anti-tourism policies, namely the 182-day rule, the proposed tourism tax, and planned alterations to the main summer holidays, clearly show that they do not understand or care that their actions will decimate seasonal tourism businesses in Wales.
“Thirty percent of self-catering businesses are forecast to close, with a resulting loss of 1,400 Welsh jobs.
“Is it any wonder that some operators in Welsh tourism are now holding back on any future investment in Wales?”
Mr Price also told the MailOnline: “My parents always told me as a youngster that you must always stand up to ‘bullies’, hence this is my personal stand to ban Welsh ministers from the showcases and show our support for the beleaguered self-catering operators in Wales.”
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Wales’ Finance Minister Rebecca Evans has defended the plan on the grounds that homes let out on an “infrequent basis” should be liable for council tax.
She said: “Following our consultation the Welsh Government is of the view that properties let out as self-catering accommodation on an infrequent basis should be liable for council tax.
“Increased letting criteria will ensure that self-catering properties are classed as non-domestic only if they are being used for business purposes for the majority of the year.”
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