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Blow for East Anglia's tourism industry

PUBLISHED: 10:42 24 April 2009 | UPDATED: 13:46 03 July 2010

EAST Anglia's £5.4bn a year tourism industry faced a massive blow last night - in the small print of Alistair Darling's Budget.

Tax breaks and concessions introduced 25 years ago to encourage investment in self catering holiday cottages and boost the tourism industry are to be scrapped in a shock government move.

EAST Anglia's £5.4bn a year tourism industry faced a massive blow last night - in the small print of Alistair Darling's Budget.

Tax breaks and concessions introduced 25 years ago to encourage investment in self catering holiday cottages and boost the tourism industry are to be scrapped in a shock government move.

A tax expert predicted a “significant impact” on the holiday letting business in the region, which could force owners of houses let out to holidaymakers to sell up and invest their cash elsewhere.

The changes may however be welcomed by those who feel the large number of holiday lets in the county fuel a shortage of permanent housing, forcing many people, especially the younger generation, to live in urban areas instead of their home villages.

The special tax privileges will be scrapped in two years time, but the impact could be felt before that as owners rearrange their finances by selling up, according to Clare Goodswen, director of personal tax and private client services at chartered accountants M+A Partners.

Mrs Goodswen said the timing was particularly bad because the domestic holiday market was hoping for a healthy mid-term future despite the wider economic downturn.

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