Carrick MP joins caravan tax debate

IN A week which has seen one Scottish MP hold meetings with tourism businesses in Galloway on the new VAT charge on static caravans, Ayr, Carrick and Cumnock MP Sandra Osborne, who voted against the Government’s proposals to introduce the tax, said the move could cost up to 1000 jobs.

Ms Osborne said this week: “There are many caravan parks within my constituency which are popular locations for holiday makers.

“Imposing VAT on holiday caravans will hit manufacturing hard and decrease demand for holidays in Britain, rather than encouraging people to holiday at home.

“The industry estimates this could cost over 1000 jobs excluding the supply chain. The Government do not seem to care about the impact this charge will have on business, jobs and the economy.”

Labour has called for a temporary cut in VAT as part of its five point plan for jobs and growth, to ease the squeeze on families and get out stalled economy moving again.

They are demanding that the government thinks again on their plans to slap VAT on these things which have traditionally been exempt.’

Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown held a meeting with local tourist businesses about the potential impact of VAT on static caravans.

The talks were being held at the Auchenlarie Holiday Park near Gatehouse of Fleet.

Static caravans are currently VAT free but the recent UK budget included plans to levy 20% from October.

Mr Brown said: “Caravan parks are essential to Dumfries and Galloway’s tourism industry and we have over 50 in our area,” he said.

“The VAT change will suddenly increase the cost of static caravans by 20% and I have grave fears for the impact on tourism in our region. Holiday parks are already finding trading difficult and the higher charges could well drive people away, and could cause some parks to go under.”

Prime Minister David Cameron said it’s not fair that a mobile caravan pays VAT but a stationary caravan does not.