Published: May 16, 2012
Burnham-On-Sea holiday bosses take caravan tax fight to Westminster

Holiday park bosses from across the Burnham-On-Sea area have visited Westminster to lobby ministers over controversial plans to begin charging VAT at 20 per cent on static caravans.

It comes first reported earlier this month that park bosses had met Burnham's MP Tessa Munt to express their concerns about the proposals, which they claim will lead to job losses across our area.

Local MP Tessa Munt hosted a number of caravan park owners, a representative from Somerset Tourism Association, caravan distributors and the Director General of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association to Parliament where they met with Treasury Minister David Gauke MP to explain at first hand the impact a planned rise in VAT on static caravans would have on Somerset's economy.

Tessa said she was concerned that the Minister had under-estimated the impact a 20 per cent rise in VAT would have on the area and that HM Revenue and Customs had miscalculated when drafting its proposals for VAT.

After discussing her concerns with George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, she met the businesspeople affected by this policy locally to discuss what to do next.

A 17-strong group joined Tessa at the Treasury, where they met the Minister and several of his officials to explain how the rise in VAT would damage their businesses.

David Gauke explained that his extension to the Government's consultation until 18th May is a demonstration that he is listening.

Tessa told "I am pleased I was able to secure this meeting with David Gauke to enable many local business people to come to London and make their views clear."

"I do believe this VAT proposal should be re-thought and I have always said that it is important for Ministers to meet and listen to those people who will be most affected by proposed decisions."

"Tourism is an integral part of Somerset’s economy and I look forward to seeing the result of the Government consultation. I very much hope the views of local people and businesses are taken into account."

She added that now the extension to the consultation has been secured it is important that as many people contribute to it as possible so the Government knows the views of people in Somerset and elsewhere around the country. More information on the Government’s consultation can be found here.

Pictured: Top, Nigel Angrave (Surf Bay Leisure), Debbie Eccles (Retreat Caravan Park), Nick & Hazel Gardner (The Warren Caravan Park), Alan House (Holiday Resort Unity), Marie Hudson (Bucklegrove Caravan Park), Ian and David James (Brean Beach Holiday Parks), Mandy Keen (Southen Counties Leisure), Jake and Sue Lodge (Sunningcrest Caravan Park), David and Michelle Ludlow (Dolphin Caravan Park), Michael Paul (Michael Paul Holidays), Dave Scott (Northam Farm Holiday Park), Clive Wilson (Swallow Point Caravan Park), Bob Smart (Chairman of Somerset Tourism Association), Ross Pritchard OBE (Director General of the British Holiday & Home Parks Association Limited) and MP Tessa Munt


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