holiday bosses take caravan tax fight to Westminster
park bosses from across the Burnham-On-Sea area will visit Westminster
next week to lobby ministers over controversial plans to begin
charging VAT at 20 per cent on static caravans.
comes after a group of 40 park bosses met MP Tessa Munt on Thursday
(May 3rd), as pictured here, to express their concerns about the
proposals, which they say will lead to job losses across our area,
as first reported by Burnham-On-Sea.com here.
Munt gave holiday park managers her support during a meeting at
Brean Leisure Park and has organised a follow-up meeting in Westminster
next Wednesday for them to discuss the proposals with Treasury
Minister David Gauke.
MP told Burnham-On-Sea.com: "A number of concerns have been
raised from those at the smallest family-run parks to the very
biggest, and also at caravan distributors, suppliers and those
employed by tourist attractions."
sales of these caravans, jobs will affected. I share the holiday
parks' concerns because what happens here will have an impact
on the 36,000 people who are employed in tourism across Somerset
- plus local businesses that rely on tourist trade such as Cheddar
Gorge and even Burnham High Street."
proposed caravan tax would raise just £43million for the
government, which is nothing in the grand scheme of things, but
it would leave us having to support all those extra people without
Among those expressing their concerns at Thursday's meeting in
Brean was Roger Jackson, from Burnham's Retreat Holiday Park who
"At our site, where it is all private owners, there is no
other business and we have no sidelines. We have already been
hit by the economic climate and trade is down by 30 per cent,
so this will hit us even further and inevitably lead to job cuts
- we could have to lay off as much as 50 per cent of our staff."
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
this week, Alan House, of Holiday Resort Unity in Brean, said:
"If this happens, we could be looking at 12 to 15 job losses
here alone. The
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."
Steve Atkinson from Burnham's 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."
National Caravan Council is lobbying for a change of heart by
the Government. An online petition has also been launched here
to put pressure on the government to reconsider the plans.
Top, caravan operators in Brean with MP Tessa Munt on Thursday
and, above, with Alan and Richard House and, above, Steve Atkinson