Caravan VAT u-turn welcomed

THE Country Land and Business Association (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 now set to be levied at just five percent. The introduction will also be put back from October to April 2013.

The organisation 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.

One caravan park owner in the North East believes he would have lost 30 percent of his turnover if the 20 percent charge had taken effect, putting jobs and his future plans to upgrade the park at risk.