David calls on the Government to axe the caravan tax


Ministers urged to reject plans for caravan tax

Region’s MPs increase pressure on Government to halt ‘devastating’ proposals

Caroline Wheeler

East Yorkshire MPs are stepping up pressure on the Government to axe the caravan tax.

The region’s seven MPs have signed a Parliamentary petition, known as an Early Day Motion, calling on ministers to reject the tax change, which they claim will have a “devastating effect on jobs, UK tourism, investment and growth.” The motion, signed by a cross-party group of 35 MPs so far, was tabled by Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart. He said: “We will continue to battle the Government on this issue until it changes its position”.

Hull North MP Diana Johnson said the Early Day Motion against plans to impose VAT on the sale of static caravans will send out a message to the Government on the scale of the cross-party opposition to the plans. She also urged residents to sign their own petition in protest at the caravan tax plans. “This Early Day Motion is one way we have to show the scale of the cross-party opposition to the job-destroying caravan tax.

“Anyone in Hull who wants to help MPs collect names for our Parliamentary petition against the caravan tax can download petition sheets from http:// bit.ly/IintmS. “Ideally, we need the names back by Monday, May 21, so we can present them in the Commons later this month.” Hull West and Hessle MP Alan Johnson rejected claims by ministers that they are addressing a VAT anomaly with the caravan tax.

He said: “When this Government says it is concerned about growth and rebalancing the economy, I cannot understand why they should want to limit demand and create more unemployment in this crucial sector.” Hull East MP Karl Turner and Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy have also lent the petition their support.

Mr Turner said: “This tax will undermine a key industry in our region put at risk thousands of vital manufacturing jobs in the region.”

Mr Percy said: “Local people tell me they can’t understand why we would want to saddle an already struggling industry with more burdens.”

The motion claims the three million trips made in owned caravans in 2010 contributed £334 million to the economy, particularly in rural and coastal areas.

It is feared the caravan tax will put more than 7,000 jobs in the industry at risk.

Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis said: “We are gathering support for our campaign and, the more names we get, the more likely it is that the Government will think again.”