MPs lay down marker over ‘devastating’ caravan tax

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OPPOSITION to proposed new VAT charges on static holiday caravans is growing after more than 40 MPs signed a motion calling for the plans to be scrapped.

Industry leaders warn the so-called caravan tax threatens 1,500 manufacturing jobs and about 2,500 more in the wider tourism industry, with the Treasury’s own estimates predicting a 30 per cent fall in sales.

Beverley and Holderness Tory MP Graham Stuart, who tabled the motion, said the cross-party campaign was gathering support.

“I am pleased that a number of colleagues were willing to demonstrate their opposition to the caravan tax and I hope more will do so,” he said.

“I will not let this issue rest until we have persuaded the Government to change course on their misguided effort to institute a caravan tax.”

The charge would be most keenly felt in East Yorkshire, where 90 per cent of the UK’s caravan manufacturing industry is based.

Last week Pudsey Conservative MP Stuart Andrew told the Commons that one manufacturer in his constituency, Ellbee, would “almost inevitably have to close” if the tax was introduced.

His party colleague, Calder Valley MP Craig Whittaker, said there would be knock-on effects in his area as well.

Hull Labour MP Diana Johnson launched a Commons petition against the tax last month, which gathered more than 1,300 signatures in its first 24 hours.

The motion says the charge would have a “devastating” effect on jobs, tourism, investment and growth.