grows in Burnham area over government's caravan tax plans
bosses in the Burnham-On-Sea area fear the local tourist economy
could be dealt a serious blow by government plans to begin charging
VAT at 20 per cent on caravans.
park operators say jobs could be under threat if the proposals
to add VAT to the price of static caravans go ahead after initially
being set out in the budget.
Atkinson from Home Farm Holiday Park told Burnham-On-Sea.com:
"These proposals would have a hugely negative impact on the
area - hitting sales of static caravans, forcing us to consider
cutting jobs and reducing the number of holidaymakers in the Burnham
area. The plans are utterly ridiculous."
Alan House, of Holiday Resort Unity in Brean, said: "If this
happens, we could be looking at 12 to 15 job losses here alone."
whole local economy is at risk: the bloke who comes in and does
a repair, the shop down the road, the tourist attraction. If people
are put off buying the homes then our investment and development
plans will be hit too and it becomes a vicious circle."
Smart, chairman of Somerset Tourism Association, added: "The
British tourism industry is hanging by a thread, and the Somerset
tourism industry particularly so. While there may not be much
financial support available, the last thing we all need is another
financial blow. Will
'caravangate' become another 'pastygate'? The principle is the
MP Tessa Munt told Burnham-On-Sea.com this week she opposes the
plans. "I have visited George Osborne to express my concerns
to him after receiving lots of feedback during my latest surgery
don't agree with the proposals at all. I understand why the Chancellor
wants to tax caravans, but this will hurt tourism and leisure
in the area."
caravans are traditionally a way for people who cannot afford
to buy a holiday cottage or apartment to get a place by the seaside,
but a 20 per cent increase on caravans retailing at around £25,000
or £30,000 will add thousands to the overall asking price.
National Caravan Council is lobbying hard for a change of heart
by the Government, and while an adjournment debate on the issue
was narrowly lost in April, the Government has promised more consultation.