Local MP Graham Stuart, the Member of Parliament for Beverley and Holderness, led a delegation of Conservative MPs from across England and Wales to meet a Treasury minister to discuss the impact of the proposed imposition of VAT on static caravans.
Along with Andrew Percy MP, David Davis MP and seven others, Graham argued strongly for the caravan VAT tax to be dropped. The MPs explained the job losses which would occur if the tax change was made and asked the Exchequer Secretary, David Gauke MP, to listen to the ongoing consultation and decisively reject the change.
Graham also tabled an amendment to the Finance Bill calling for no changes to be made to caravan VAT taxes. He hopes the amendment, which has been supported by many MPs already, will be considered and voted on shortly.
Graham said: “We had a productive meeting with the Treasury. I won’t rest until we have persuaded ministers that introducing VAT on static caravans would be a mistake. Now we are building a large group of MPs from right across England and Wales who can see that the tax will destroy jobs without raising much at all for the taxman. The government says that it wants to see tax consistency – we said we want to see economic prosperity and a successful manufacturing industry allowed to prosper.”
During a meeting with the Chancellor they explained the job losses which would occur if the tax change was made and asked the Chancellor decisively to reject any modification to VAT on caravans.
Graham added: “We had a good meeting with the Chancellor. He listened and seemed to understand the serious threat the proposal to impose VAT on static caravans poses for the East Yorkshire economy. He promised that the consultation was a genuine one and that he would listen to representations made by those affected.
“I urge anyone involved in the business or who owns a caravan to go to the HMRC website and make their feelings known.
“The Chancellor said that the VAT exemption of static caravans not used as permanent homes was an anomaly and that imposing the VAT would be fairer to those with mobile caravans and other holiday accommodation. Even if this is true, however, we argued that making the change now would be a mistake, would destroy jobs and hurt the rural economy across the country.”
Graham’s successful campaigns in the last Parliament included protecting community hospitals, defeating legislation on home education, stopping the incinerator at Saltend and saving the Beverley Pasture Masters. Since 2010 he has won the battle for lower Humber Bridge tolls and successfully persuaded the government to improve the A164 and build the Beverley bypass.