I have today voiced my firm support for local Caravan Parks, many of whom are concerned about the impact of a proposal to apply VAT to static Caravans. I am supporting Caravans owners on this issue, and have been in contact with several of the individual park owners. On Friday I met with a director of the Greater Yarmouth Tourist Authority, Mr Sims, to discuss the proposals.
The Government announced during the budget that it would begin consulting on applying VAT to a range of currently exempt products, including static caravans. The proposal, one of many out for consultation, would place additional strain on caravan parks one of the cornerstones of the Great Yarmouth tourist industry.
I have been lobbying the Minister for Taxation, David Gauke MP, and this week a petition was presented to the Houses of Parliament by a cross party group of MPs. Considering all the work the Government has done to support coast communities, and Great Yarmouth specifically, this proposal seems out of place. A tax on caravans is a tax on an entire industry, which we need to support rather than harm. I will continue to speak up loud and clear on behalf the parks in Great Yarmouth. I hope that the Government will take on board the views expressed during the consultation and find a way to lessen the blow on what is a vital industry for Great Yarmouth.
Even though the formal consultation is now over, If anyone has a view on this and is an owner of a static caravan, or linked to the industry in any way, please do contact my office with your views and we will ensure they are put before ministers.