CLA welcomes Government climb down on caravan tax

29 May 2012

The CLA in the North has welcomed news that the Government is to climb down over controversial proposals to introduce VAT on sales of static caravans.

Plans to charge VAT at 20 percent are expected to be watered down, with the tax being levied at just five percent. The introduction will also be put back from October to April 2013.

The CLA raised concerns about the proposed introduction of the tax after it became clear that many of its members involved in tourism would be hit hard by the increased costs.

CLA North Regional Director Dorothy Fairburn said: "Tourism plays a vital role in the region's economy and static caravans provide accommodation for thousands of visitors.

"Were VAT to be introduced at the full rate it would have reduced the availability of this popular type of accommodation and had a serious knock-on effect for the local economy."

The Association had been collecting evidence from its members across the region about the impact the introduction of the full tax would have had.

Christopher Stephenson, who runs Bradley Burn Caravan Park near Wolsingham in Weardale said he would have lost 30 percent of his turnover putting jobs and future plans to upgrade the park at risk.

Simon Mackaness, who runs Rudding Holiday Park near Harrogate with 100 owner-occupied static caravans, said: "The introduction of 20 per cent VAT on static caravan sales would have had a serious impact on our business. 

"The sales of new static caravans have been difficult for the last four years due to the recession and  the addition of full VAT would have been the final nail in the coffin."