MPs to caravan makers over VAT threat to jobs

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A CROSS-PARTY group of MPs will meet representatives of the East Yorkshire caravan industry today as they build up a campaign to oppose the introduction of VAT charges to classes of caravans previously exempt from the tax.

The plans, announced in last month’s Budget Statement, could lead to a 30 per cent cut in demand for caravans and threaten 1,000 jobs.

East Yorkshire is the UK’s biggest producer of static caravans and likely to be hit hardest.

Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart, who is one of those attending the meeting in Beverley, will put the industry’s concerns to Chancellor George Osborne after Easter accompanied by his Conservative colleague, Haltemprice and Howden MP David Davis.

Mr Stuart said: “The Budget is a Budget for growth with millions taken out of tax altogether and corporation tax being reduced so as to encourage investment by business in the UK. It’s all about creating jobs, not destroying them which is why we are so concerned about the immediate introduction of full 20 per cent VAT on statics from October 1st. What may, in London, look like a fair levelling up could in East Yorkshire be extremely harmful to one of our most successful industries.

“Before I meet with the Chancellor I want to be sure that we have a full understanding of the implications of this change and are in the best position to argue on behalf of local businesses and local jobs.”