Dumfries and Galloway MP Russell Brown is holding a meeting today with owners of local holiday parks and businesses to discuss concerns over the UK Government’s proposed introduction of VAT on static caravans.
Static caravans are currently VAT free, but the Government’s budget, published in March, included plans to levy VAT of 20% from 1st October this year. There are over 50 holiday parks with static caravans in the region, and Mr Brown says that the additional cost will make static caravans unaffordable for many people to holiday in the area.
Mr Brown said, “Caravan parks are essential to Dumfries and Galloway’s tourism industry. I have grave fears for the impact on tourism in our region. Holidayparks are already finding trading difficult and the higher charges could well drive people away, and could cause some parks to go under.
“The impact is far wider than just holiday parks, as all local businesses will be affected by the inevitable reduction in visitor numbers. It means there will be fewer people visiting the area and spending in local shops, pubs and restaurants.”
The Government is currently consulting on the VAT change and the deadline for responses is this Friday.