Campbell call to arms over ‘caravan tax’

Dr. David Hume (guest speaker) pictured with Gregory and Frances Campbell at the East Londonderry DUP Dinner held at the Magherabuoy Hotel on Friday evening.
Dr. David Hume (guest speaker) pictured with Gregory and Frances Campbell at the East Londonderry DUP Dinner held at the Magherabuoy Hotel on Friday evening.
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Mr Campbell, whose constituency has 19 caravan holiday parks catering for over 4,000 static caravan homes, said: “I recently met with local members of the National Caravan Council and caravan park owners on the North Coast regarding the proposed VAT imposition.

“Currently the sale of caravan holiday homes is zero rated and Government intends to impose a 20% VAT on these homes while maintaining zero rate VAT on static caravans being used as conventional permanent homes.

“Following a recent debate in the House of Commons where Northern Ireland MP’s voted against the proposed VAT rate, the Government extended the consultation until May 18.

“The caravan parks employ a large number of full time and seasonal staff. My own constituency has suffered severe job losses in the last few years and the Government and the local Council are investing in the area to maximise the tourist potential of the region.

“The imposition of a 20%VAT on static caravan holiday homes will add approximately £4000 onto the average caravan purchase price of £20,000 which will lead to a reduction in caravan sales for holiday parks and will lead to job losses, reduce visits to the area and a loss of revenue to the local economy at a time when the economic climate is already causing difficulties.

“Holiday cottages and chalets which are static do not attract 20%VAT and I strongly support the caravan industry in wishing to retain the sale of static caravan homes at zero rated VAT to allow equitable competition across the holiday homes sector.”

To respond to the HMRC consultation www.hmrc.gov.uk/budget2012/vat-con-4801.pdf or the e-petition http://epetitions.direct.gov.uk/petitions/32781 calling for a debate in the House of Commons on the matter.